A care worker accused of headbutting her 65-year-old neighbour has been found guilty of assault.
Sarah Louise Pouch, of Tan Y Bryn, Llanidloes, was accused of headbutting Christina White during an altercation outside their homes on June 27, and was found guilty after trial on Monday.
Welshpool Magistrates Court heard that Pouch, 25, had spent the day with family burying her step father's ashes before returning to her mother's house on the same estate just after 2pm.
Stephen Davies, prosecuting, said Pouch was sitting outside the house with her sister and mother while her children and others from the area played nearby.
At 6.30pm, Pouch had gone to get a drink when the children came over and said a lady, Ms White, had sworn at them.
Ms White, said in evidence she left her car boot open while she took shopping to her flat but heard children playing near her car.
She returned to find some shopping on the road, so told the children to leave it alone, but denied swearing at them.
She said: “The next thing I knew, a woman that I now know to be Sarah Pouch’s mother followed me and was swearing and shouting.
“I went back to my car, and I had Sarah Pouch in my face. She headbutted me to my forehead.”
Ms White said she had put her hands up to defend herself, holding bags of shopping and flower pots she had just bought, and Pouch had then punched her to the chest with both hands, knocking her to the floor.
She said she had then been surrounded by Pouch and her other family members until another neighbour intervened and helped her up.
“They would not let me get up,” said Ms White. “Every time I tried, they pushed me back down.”
Photos were taken of a significant red mark to Ms White’s forehead and grazing and bruising from the fall.
Pouch was arrested, and when interviewed said she and Ms White had been face to face during the confrontation, screaming and swearing at each other. She denied headbutting or punching, claiming she only pushed Ms White after she hit her with the plant pots.
There was no mark on Pouch’s head, which she claimed showed there was no headbut.
The court heard from another neighbour, Mark Cafferey, who witnessed the altercation from his window.
He said: “The only voice I could hear was Sarah’s. I saw Sarah go up close to the older lady and she brought her head forward. The older lady brought her hands up in a defensive manner.
“Immediately then she punched the older lady and she hit the floor.”
Pouch said: “There was screaming and shouting, they were all swearing at each other.
“She stepped forward so I stepped forward. We were nose to nose, effing and blinding at each other.
“Christine had the flower pots in her hand and whacked me over the head with them.”
Asked if she headbutted Ms White, Pouch said: “No I did not. I’m not a violent type of person. I would not hit an elderly woman, I work with old people.”
Sarah’s mother, Erica Pouch, and sister, Anna Pearson, said there was a confrontation but there was no headbutt or punch.
Phil Sherrard, defending, said his client had instructed him to appeal the conviction.
Pouch broke down in tears as the verdict was delivered. She returned to court the following day when she was given a 12 month community order, with 20 rehabilitation days.
She was fined £100, ordered to pay compensation to Ms White of £200, costs of £620 and a victim surcharge of £85.
See full story in the County Times