A WOMAN who smashed the handle of a frying pan when she whacked a man over the head following a drunken argument has pleaded guilty to affray.

Laura-Jane Storey picked up the weapon when a brawl in a house on Wilson Street, Darlington, spilled out into the road.

The 31-year-old pleaded guilty to that attack but two other people who were facing trial for their part in the violence were cleared at an earlier hearing when the victim failed to turn up, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Philip Morley, prosecuting, said the violence erupted when an argument broke out during a boozing session which turned ugly.

He said: “There was an argument between the complaint and another male, it then broke out into a fight and it continued out in the street. As the man went out into the street, that was when Laura-Jane Storey became involved.

“The victim was on the doorstep and went to move towards another man when she struck him on the head with a frying pan.

“The blow caused him to fall forward and he fell to his knees. It didn’t render him unconscious but he could feel blood on his head.”

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Wilson Street, Darlington. Picture GOOGLE

The court heard how the victim had suffered significant facial injuries after being kicked in the face but Storey had nothing to do with that part of the violence.

Mr Morley added: “In custody she made full admission and said she had hit him with the frying pan and said he deserved it – she said he had called her a slag. The force of the blow caused the pan handle to snap.”

Storey, of Ninth Street, Blackhall Colliery, County Durham, pleaded affray following the violence in the early hours of the morning of April 19, 2018.

The court heard how Storey had pleaded guilty to the offence but two men who had pleaded not guilty were cleared when the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence when the complainant failed to attend court.

In mitigation Robin Patton urged the judge to spare he jail.

He said: “If we were ever to dispute the facts of this incident, I can almost guarantee that the victim would not appear in court.”

Judge Peter Armstrong sentenced Storey to an 18-month community order with 18 rehabilitation activity requirement days to tackle her alcohol problem.

He said: “During the course of the fight, it moved outside and this was when you hit him on the back of the head with the frying pan. It wasn’t a serious injury, it was graze to his head.

“The offence is nearly two years old now and you are getting some assistance with your problems and the alcohol treatment programme will prove helpful.

“If you keep out of trouble for 18 months that will be it; if you reoffend in that period the court can revoke this sentence and re-sentence you in a different way.”