A “coked-up” Wiltshire woman grabbed a stranger’s hair and kicked her while on a night out.

Poppy Smith, of Butts Crescent in Trowbridge, pleaded guilty to one charge of assault by beating which happened in Chippenham on September 2, 2023.

Swindon Magistrates' Court heard that the 19-year-old, who has no previous convictions, was out with friends in the Black Horse pub and there was an exchange of words between the defendant’s group and the victim and her partner.

Keith Ballinger, prosecuting, explained that when the couple left the pub and began walking home, Smith and her friends followed them and started “hurling abuse”.

As both groups passed Waitrose, Smith pulled the victim’s hair, the victim stumbled, and Smith and her friends then carried out “a prolonged and persistent assault”.

Mr Ballinger said: “A number of people punched and kicked her on the floor. She suffered bruising to the top of both arms, lumps on her hairline, and some of her hair was pulled out. Her body ached for days afterwards.”

The defendant appeared anxious and emotional in the dock, and her relatives sat nearby in the courtroom for moral support.

Mark Glendenning, defending, said: “There was a girl who she does not like and the girl’s mum had started on her in the pub.

“There is an argument and some confrontation, there is a degree of provocation. [The victim] is then followed home and Poppy takes it upon herself to confront her about what was said.

“When there is no response, she grabs her and there is a scrap. She is also struck as a result of what she has done.

“She did intend for anyone else to get involved but [her friends] pulled in together which escalated the situation.

“She was going through a crisis at the time which was not helped by the use of alcohol and drugs.

“She is sorry for what happened, she was coked up at the time. She has apologised and knows what she did was wrong and that she should not have reacted in that way.”

Head magistrate Jane Flew summarised the offence as “a particularly horrible and unpleasant attack that [Smith] instigated”.

In line with the punishments for her friends, who were sentenced previously, Smith received a community order that requires her to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months, and pay £85 in court costs plus £114 to fund victim services.

No compensation was ordered because “it would inflame the situation between the parties involved in the incident”.