A drug user who led a prolonged attack on another woman, in the victim’s own home, is starting her first prison sentence.

Naomi Slater repeatedly punched the vulnerable woman, who went to the floor, where she was said to have been kicked by another person present at the address on September 29, last year.

Durham Crown Court heard that Slater admitted a single charge of assault causing actual bodily harm, when she appeared before magistrates in January.

But the court was told her admission was on the basis that everyone at the address that evening had been taking drugs and that she became agitated when the householder accused her of, “acting like a psycho”, and there was a row over the payment for more drugs.The Northern Echo: Naomi slater received her first prison sentence, one of 16 months, for assaulting another woman in

She accepted striking the other woman to the face, more than once, but she denied pinning her to the ground or kicking her in the face.

Martin Towers, prosecuting, told the court that the version of the victim was that the defendant tuned up with a man uninvited at her home on September 29.

But in a hospitable gesture she did allow them in, and, after a while, another man turned up and soon everyone there had taken cocaine.

Mr Towers said the householder said they were enjoying listening to music, but there came a point when she decided she wanted them out of her home, as she has psychosis and suffers panic attacks for which she takes medication.

She said the defendant said she wanted a drink and moved to the living room, but the victim said she asked everyone present to leave.

Mr Towers said it was then that Slater launched her unprovoked attack, striking her in the face, and the victim feared the others were going to try to get her out of her home.

So, she tried to “comfort” Slater, who was, by then, upset, herself.

But as both sat on the sofa, Slater then launched a further attack, repeatedly striking her, causing her to fall to the living room floor.

Mr Towers said by then the woman said she was “really scared” as Slater continued to punch her and one of the males present kicked her in the head.

The woman said she was lying in “so much pain” and cried out for help, but everyone just laughed at her.

She said she really feared for her life at this stage, but the assault did not stop, as she lay motionless, having not thrown a single blow herself in retaliation.

Mr Towers said the victim said that eventually the three other people present did begin to leave, but, as a parting shot, one of the males kicked her twice in the ribs and a window was smashed.

Asked if anyone other than the defendant faced action, Mr Towers said no-one apart from Slater was charged, and it was accepted that the defendant did not break the window.

Relieved that her tormentors had left, the victim remained on the floor where she believed she must have lay unconscious through the night, and, on coming around, she went to a neighbour’s home the next morning seeking assistance.

In her impact statement, the victim said she felt, “extremely scared” in her own home and is now “constantly on edge”, worried that those present that night may turn up, in breach of bail conditions.

She has since struggled to sleep and is particularly terrified when she leaves her house in case, “they are waiting for me.”

The victim added that it was “a terrifying incident” which will affect her for a long time.

The Northern Echo:

Mr Towers said the woman’s neighbour described her suffering from multiple facial injuries and an ambulance being called.

The neighbour said she had been concerned at people calling at the victim’s home, taking advantage of her, for some time.

Slater, 21, of West Chilton Terrace, in Chilton, was said to have 25 previous convictions, mostly for theft, but also for battery in March 2023, while there was a further conviction for violence and criminal damage in July last year, for which she was fined, just two months before the latest offence.

Mr Towers added: “It’s apparent that between March and December last year she was subject to a community order."

Jane Waugh, for Slater, said there was an involvement of others in the attack, but only her client was charged.

Miss Waugh said the defendant did take responsibility for her role in the incident and has since reduced her drug usage as well as moving from the area, away from the “negative influences” in her life, at the time.

“She, herself, is a vulnerable person, not only because of her mental health, but also because of her addiction problems.

“She has done all she can since this incident to put things right in her life.

“It was an unpleasant offence, there’s no doubt about that, and she accepts, and regrets, that.”

Judge Jo Kidd described it as a “joint attack” but one that was instigated by the defendant’s unprovoked assault.

“It’s clear you were not the only person to assault her that evening and within a short time you were joined by others.

“Her home was subject to criminal damage and what she endured must have been terrifying.

“She was isolated, and you were there as a group.

"When she went to her neighbour’s home the next morning she was in a terrible state.”

Judge Kidd said the photographs of her facial injuries are some of the worst she has seen.

She told Slater: “The extent you caused those injuries is not clear, but you were the first person to attack her and that was the state she was left in.

“This was an unprovoked attack by you in someone’s home.

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“It was persistent and prolonged, and you began those events.”

Imposing a 16-month prison sentence, the judge also made Slater subject of a restraining order prohibiting her from approaching or contacting the victim for five years.

She added that she was unable to draw back from making the sentence immediate, and not suspending it, due to the “serious nature of this case.”