A violent young woman who assaulted a frail pensioner at Wellesbourne market has been remanded in custody after deliberately turning her back on a judge.
Despite Xena Randell’s history of violence, the judge at Warwick Crown Court had been prepared to give her a chance by deferring sentence of her after she had admitted the assault.
But as Judge Anthony Potter was explaining his decision to her, Randell, 19, of Burrows Street, Walsall, turned her back on him and petulantly refused to face him.
Eventually, after she repeatedly refused to turn round, the judge remanded her in custody to be sentenced at a later date.
Randell then refused to go with the dock officers, screaming and struggling with them until several more came into the dock and she was finally led away.
Prosecutor Caroline Harris said Randell’s grandfather and her 70-year-old victim, who suffers from osteoporosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, belonged to a group which regularly organised coach trips.
In August last year Randell and her mother accompanied her grandfather on one such outing to Warwickshire, to visit Wellesbourne market and then Stratford-upon-Avon.
After arriving at the market Randell and her mother went off shopping, leaving her grandfather and the 70-year-old woman together, and returned later than expected.
“The complainant called the defendant a ‘selfish cow’ for being away so long, and the defendant pushed her with some force.
“It caused her to fall to the ground, landing on her bottom and striking her head.”
A retired nurse went to her aid, and the trip continued with the pensioner in fear that Randell would approach her again.
Randell’s victim had sore ribs as a result of the push, and it later became apparent she had a fracture to her pelvis.
But Miss Harris said it was ‘not possible to prove to the criminal standard’ it had happened when Randell had pushed her.
When Randell was arrested, she said she had pushed the pensioner out of the way ‘because she was in my space.’
She claimed she was not generally a violent person, ‘but will react violently when threatened.’
But Miss Harris pointed out she had 13 convictions for 49 offences, the majority of them for violence, and was currently subject to a suspended sentence for assaulting a police officer.
Turaj Hodge, defending, said Randell was in care from the age of nine until she was 18, but had recently been getting her relationship with her mother back on track, and is helping to care for her grandfather who has been given six months to live.
“She suffers an inability to cope with stressful situations because of the very difficult upbringing she’s had, and when she perceives she’s under threat, she reacts violently.
“She felt under threat from [the 70-year-old] who accepts she called her a selfish cow, and in response Miss Randell pushed her because of a perceived threat.”
Miss Hodge said there were concerns that if Randell faced a custodial sentence she would begin self-harming again, adding: “She says she is more than willing to address her anger management issues, and she has shown remorse.”
Judge Potter told Randell: “In my judgement you are a bully, and you have relied on other people’s concern as justification for your response to other people in an aggressive manner.
“I have no doubt that lady was smaller than you, and you intimidated her as much by your presence as by your actions.
“If you had appeared before me in November last year, you would have gone straight to prison because pushing with force a woman old enough to be your grandmother is disgraceful.
“I am far from convinced you don’t deserve a prison sentence now, but it might be worth giving you a chance at a stage when your mother has given you a home.”
Randell then turned her back to him and refused to turn back, and Judge Potter told her: “I’m not going to read into this any desire by you to do what you say if you are not prepared to turn round and look at me.”
After she still refused, the judge rose, and when a dock officer gently tried to persuade her to turn round, explaining that he was not jailing her, Randell responded angrily: “I know, but I would rather be in prison. I can’t control my anger.”
When Judge Potter came back into court, with Randell still stubbornly with her back to him, he adjourned the case and remanded her in custody, telling Miss Hodge: “She has to understand that whatever acts the juvenile court have taken, she’s in the crown court now, and the crown court will not be bullied.”