A WOMAN with learning difficulties left her care worker with a broken nose and black eyes in an unprovoked attack.

Ashley Marie Arkless, 26, was travelling with the care worker from a hospital appointment back to her former accommodation in Murton, near Seaham, when she punched her in March.

Magistrates in Newton Aycliffe yesterday heard Arkless had since been moved to new accommodation on Eastbourne Avenue, in Gateshead.

John Garside, prosecuting, said the defendant had also spat in the face of her care coordinator and threw a bottle at her on June 8, before causing damage to her vehicle.

He added on June 12, Arkless was residing in Easington and was unhappy about her accommodation.

The court heard she set off a fire alarm, spat at another care worker and attempted to damage a vehicle.

She pleaded guilty to common assault, assaulting a person occasioning actual bodily harm, criminal damage, attempted criminal damage and breaching a conditional discharge.

Arkless made full and frank admissions on all occasions.

Amrit Jandoo, mitigating, said she suffered from autism, learning difficulties and a personality disorder. He told the court she regretted her actions.

She was sentenced to 12 weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to pay compensation of £700.