A simmering feud erupted into violence when a bar worker was assaulted following a love-rival row.

Kayla Price and Sarah Hird attacked the woman when they were drinking in the William Stead pub in Darlington town centre when they were celebrating a birthday.

The pair admitted carrying out the attack on the woman but Hird denied that she had used racial or religious abuse during the assault, Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard.

Daniel Hill, prosecuting, said the problems arose between the parties when they accused the woman of having an affair with a relative’s now-deceased partner.

He said the trouble flared after 19-year-old Price sent the woman a message on Instagram saying - ‘bring yourself downstairs because I am going to rip your face off’ before the woman was assaulted.

“They make their way upstairs, it’s all caught on CCTV, Price has approached the woman, punched her numerous times and pushed her against the wall,” he said.

“A second assault was carried out by Sarah Hird and there was a racial element to it.”

In a victim impact statement, the woman said she had been left feeling anxious as a result of the assault and it had impacted on her ability to feel safe..

The Northern Echo: The William Stead in DarlingtonThe William Stead in Darlington

Price, of Westmoreland Street, Darlington, pleaded guilty to assault by beating following the attack on Wednesday, October 8, last year.

Amrit Jandoo, mitigating, said his client was ‘ashamed’ of her behaviour in the pub and had never been in trouble before.

He said: “She made immediate admissions as soon as she was shown the CCTV. The police could have used their discretion to use a police warning but they chose not to.

“There was a potential for it to have been dealt with in the community as she admitted it straightaway.”

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Anne Kellitt, the chair of the bench, ordered Price to pay the woman £100 in compensation and fined her £120 following her early guilty plea.

She added: "It was an unpleasant incident that you were involved in. It was a serious but I am fairly sure that I won't see you in court again - in future think before you act.

The teenager’s co-accused, Hird, also of Westmoreland Street, admitted assaulting the bar worker but denied the charge that she used racial or religious abuse.

The 39-year-old, who was released on conditional bail not to enter the William Stead pub or approach the woman, will stand trial at the same court on April 12.