Girl’s ‘cowardly and revolting attack’

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A YOUNG woman who launched an unprovoked assault on a disabled friend in the street while high on a cocktail of drink and drugs has been jailed for 17 months.

A judge told 23-year-old Zoe Marsh, from Atherton: “It is difficult to imagine a more cowardly and revolting attack.”

Liverpool Crown Court was told that she was seen by shocked neighbours shouting that she wanted to kill him as she kicked and kneed his prone figure.

Judge Brian Lewis said that she knew that her victim, Ian Beech, was disabled and in no position to fight or even defend himself because he had been left brain-damaged after an accident.

This had left his left side paralysed affecting his left arm, his walking ability and speech.

“He was particularly vulnerable and you knew that. The fact is made even more nauseating by the fact he was a friend of yours and to his credit despite all this he still regards himself as such.”

He said that the reason why Marsh attacked him was unclear but there could be no justification for it.

“This was completely gratuitous unnecessary violence.”

The judge said he did not believe she actually wanted to kill Mr Beech but had repeatedly kicked him to the face and head “in this horrible attack” and it was only good fortune that his injuries were not more serious.

“You admitted yourself that you had battered him.

“At the time you were affected by a cocktail of vodka in huge amounts and cocaine which makes it more serious,” he added.

The court heard that 32-year-old Mr Beech said he still considered Marsh a friend and had not made an impact statement as “he did not want to advertise the fact that he had been beaten up by a girl.”

Leanne Birkett, prosecuting, said that the incident happened on January 4 after the victim had been drinking with Marsh at her flat in Samuel Street, Hindsford, along with her sister.

She asked him to leave and she followed him out and attacked him. Even when neighbours came out because of the disturbance she continued kicking him and kneeing him.

After her arrest said that she had “flipped and gone over the top” and he had not deserved what she had done to him. She said she had wanted to kill him and when people warned her she was going to kill him she told them that was her intention.

She admitted that after Mr Beech walked off when she pushed his face into a wall she caught him up and started hitting him. “I don’t know what was on me, I was fuming,” she said. The court heard that Mr Beech was detained in hospital overnight for observation but had only suffered soft tissue injuries.

Steven Swift, defending, said that Marsh, who admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, has no previous convictions but has had a reprimand for battery.

He said that she has a personality disorder and her mother cares for her young son. She has reflected on her behaviour during her three weeks on remand in custody.

“She totally lost control against a background of her own difficulties and fuelled by drink and drugs and she bitterly regrets it,” said Mr Swift.

She also admitted breaching her bail and he explained she had panicked because of fear of the consequences of her behaviour.

Marsh was given 16 months for the assault and another month to run consecutively for breaching bail.