A TEENAGER who hit the headlines after she petulantly turned her back on a judge as he was about to defer her sentence for assaulting a frail pensioner has escaped being jailed.
Xena Randell had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to assaulting 70-year-old Marion Ryan, who had called her a ‘selfish cow,’ during an incident at Wellesbourne market.
Despite a history of violence, Judge Anthony Potter had decided to give her a chance by deferring sentence – but as he explained his decision, she petulantly turned her back on him.
After she had repeatedly refused to face him during the hearing in May, the exasperated judge had remanded her in custody, and she fought with staff as she was led from the dock.
Four days later, after Randell had had a taste of prison, Judge Potter did as he had originally intended, and deferred sentence, setting out what he expected from her in the meantime.
And at the resumed hearing the 19-year-old, of Burrowes Street, Walsall, West Midlands, was given a 12-month community order, with 80 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation activity for 30 days to address her anger management.
Judge Potter said it seemed she had been motivated to try to get a job and had made efforts to enrol on a college course.
He said her brief period in custody and the surrounding publicity had been ‘a salutary lesson’.
During the original hearing it was said Randell’s grandfather and her 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.
But at the market Randell went off shopping with her mother, leaving her grandfather and Miss Ryan together, and returned later than expected, said prosecutor Caroline Harris.
“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 Randell would approach her again.
After her arrest, Randell said she pushed the pensioner ‘because she was in my space,’ claiming she was not generally a violent person, ‘but will react violently when threatened.’
But the court heard she had no fewer than 13 convictions for 49 offences, mostly for violence, and at the time was subject to a suspended sentence for assaulting a police officer.
Turaj Hodge, defending, said “She felt under threat from Miss Ryan who accepts she called her a selfish cow, and in response Miss Randell pushed her because of a perceived threat.”
“She says she is more than willing to address her anger management issues, and she has shown remorse.”