Horse whip attacker escapes jail

Tammy Miller
Tammy Miller

A woman who assaulted a councillor with a horse whip and also punched a woman in a furious row about a horse has avoided jail.

Tamara Miller, from Atherton, was given a suspended sentence for the attacks on Wigan Council leader of the opposition Coun James Grundy and Lisa Webb which happened last September.

Miller, of Clayborne Court, was found guilty after a two-day trial during which she was unrepresented due to a legal aid mix-up and sentencing was delayed so she could be represented.

Miller apologised to the victims from the dock and thanked the magistrates for giving her “a chance” after they opted not to put her behind bars.

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court heard Miller became involved in a dispute with Susan Grundy, who owns a livery yard in Lowton, about the ownership of a horse.

The court was told the 41-year-old went to the yard to try to take the horse from the field and Ms Grundy and Ms Webb went over as the disturbance had startled several animals.

Prosecuting, Tess Kenyon said Miller threatened Ms Webb and grabbed her by her ponytail when she tried to walk away, forcing her to the floor and punching her numerous times.

The court heard Coun Grundy then became involved after becoming aware Miller was walking towards his mother and was also subjected to a volley of abuse.

Ms Kenyon said Miller then started pushing him, causing him to strike out with a horse whip he had picked up in order to get her to back away.

The court heard she then grabbed the whip and bit him, causing him to let go of the object, before hitting him on the back of the shoulders several times.

Coun Grundy was eventually able to force Miller onto the ground and restrain her until the police arrived.

Both Coun Grundy and Ms Webb visited the walk-in centre in Leigh to have their injuries treated. Ms Kenyon read out a statement by the latter saying she suffers from severe depression and has had her confidence shattered.

Bob Toppin, in mitigation, said Miller and her family did not entirely accept the prosecution’s version of events even though she had been found guilty following a trial.

Mr Toppin said: “A lot of what the Crown says is in dispute and though I understand she was found guilty because the magistrates found their evidence more credible than my client’s nothing is ever 100 per cent cut and dry.

“The police officer carried out a physical examination and there were injuries on my client consistent with being hit with a horse whip, and she would also dispute the history behind this.

“This is a serious matter. Thankfully nobody was hospitalised and my client shows remorse in bucketfuls.

“She does have some mental health problems and was in a transition situation with her medication. With hindsight she wishes she had just walked away.”

The magistrates gave Miller a 26-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months. She was also ordered to complete 60 hours of unpaid work and complete activities set by the probation service.

Miller was also told to pay £400 in compensation to each victim, £200 in costs and an £80 victims’ surcharge.

She was also given a restraining order for 18 months barring her from contacting the four people who were involved in the incident and banning her from the Slag Lane livery yard.

Speaking after the hearing, Coun Grundy said he was extremely pleased the court had cleared his name with the verdict.

Coun Grundy said: “I’m delighted with the result. It has been a terrible few months with this hanging over my family.

“I think justice has been done and I would like to thank the police, court staff and witness protection team for the excellent work they have done.

“I look forward to going back to ordinary life but this case sends out a message to everyone. If you attack me, my family or the customers on our farm we will chase you to the full extent of the law.”