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Laura Heywood begged magistrates not to send her to custody but they were appalled by her ‘horrendous’ record

A woman who hurled racist abuse at takeaway staff and a police officer has been jailed despite begging magistrates to give her another chance.

Laura Heywood blamed her “abusive and controlling” boyfriend for the heavy drug abuse which led to her offending.

Appearing live via a video link from HMP New Hall, the 24-year-old pleaded with Kirklees magistrates not to hand her a custodial sentence after pleading guilty to a string of charges.

She told them: “I’m begging you to take this risk on me – please don’t send me to prison.”

But magistrates were unmoved to grant her request after hearing details of offences including her vile abuse of two takeaway workers – one a teenage boy- where she threw cans of drink at them.

The incident at Dixxi Express in Batley happened on May 4 last year.

Drunk Heywood was at the nearby bus station with a friend and they walked into the St James Street takeaway.

Prosecutor Alex Bozman said: “They were racially abusive to two staff members, describing them as ‘P**i b******s’.

“Cans were then thrown at both gentlemen, hitting them and the contents spilling all over their clothing.

“One of the staff members was 16 and shocked to be assaulted at his place of work as he’d never experienced anything like that before.

“The other victim said that he was angry and that it was an unprovoked attack and there was no reason why they’d been targeted.”

Police were called and caught Heywood and her friend trying to board a bus. Heywood was described as aggressive and refusing to leave the vehicle.

When she was finally put into the police van she directed racist abuse to a female officer during the journey, calling her a ‘black b****d’ and’ n****r’ and telling her: “You’d be used as a footstool.”

Mr Bozman said: “The officer found her attitude and insults rather vile and stated that nobody has the right or authority to aim abuse at her.”

Magistrates were told about another incident at Laurel Drive in Birstall on June 3.

The victim had parked her Ford Fiesta there to visit a friend when Heywood came out into the street carrying a bottle of fizzy drink.

She shouted: “Whose is this car?” and she replied that it belonged to her. Heywood responded: “I don’t give a f**k anyway, I’m going to put it through.” She then threw the bottle at the vehicle, causing a dent.

Heywood went on to damage a police vehicle on November 6 when they were responding to reports of a domestic incident at an address in Common Road in Batley.

As her boyfriend was arrested from the property she picked up an item and threw it at a marked police car, causing a dent in the vehicle.

Then on December 30 Heywood was caught stealing a bottle of wine from the Hanging Heaton Food Store.

She pleaded guilty to two charges of racially-aggravated assault, racially-aggravated harassment, two counts of criminal damage, theft from a shop, being drunk and disorderly in public, three charges of failing to surrender to court and committing a further offence while subject to a conditional discharge.

Her solicitor Paul Blanchard described her as having a Jekyll and Hyde personality, adding that alcohol she consumed at the time of the offences would have clouded her judgement.

He explained: “The background to her most recent offending is combined with a relationship she has formed and during the relationship she has become involved in the consumption of Class A drugs.

“She’s made some ridiculously bad decisions and doesn’t deal with situations well.

“She hasn’t dealt with her child being adopted and resorted to the consumption of alcohol to block out the reality of situations.

“She’s a lovely, lovely person but has got her demons which unfortunately at times come to the top.

“Something has to change but the only person who can change is Laura Heywood.”

Heywood read a letter to the court in which she pleaded with magistrates not to jail her.

She said: “I know I need to grow up and sort my life out. I just need some support.

“I’ve now got out of my controlling and violent relationship and I’m begging you to take this risk on me.

“I know I’ve got a long, hard journey but I know I can do it. Please let me prove you wrong and make my family proud.”

But bench chairwoman Kathryn Beney slammed her ‘horrendous record’ and said she and her colleagues felt that custody was their only option.

They jailed Heywood, of Laurel Drive in Batley, for a total of 24 weeks.

Upon her release she will have to pay £100 to both of the takeaway employees she assaulted and abused.

Huddersfield Examiner