Man fined after hitting 86-year-old woman with basket

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A 52-year-old man who hit an elderly lady over the head with a supermarket shopping basket after believing he was provoked, has been fined.

Mr James, Charles Powney, of Drummond Road, Skegness appeared before Skegness Magistrates last Friday, where he pleaded guilty to using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment alarm or distress at a Skegness supermarket.

Marie Stace, prosecuting, said at 10.33am on April 3 a call to the police was made after Powney struck the 86-year-old mother on the head with a plastic Co-op basket while she was with her daughter, both queuing in the supermarket. Powney was then held and arrested at the store.

The victim and her daughter did not wish to press charges as it was clear he had mental health issues, the court was told.

Prosecuting Marie Stace, said: “It was an unprovoked attack and Mr Powney who has mental health issues felt the pressures of getting things done.

“He had heard the woman coughing loudly and it put him on edge. He tried to nudge her to stop the coughing and in self defence, he swung the basket round.”

In mitigation, Gordon Holt, said “Powney suffers with schizophrenia and he had lost control of himself while queuing near the post office.

“Both ladies have been sympathetic to the medical problems and issues,” Mr Holt added.

Mr Holt recommended to the court that it was a matter of conditional discharge and because of his conditions, it could be dealt with like this as Powney had learnt lessons.

Magistrates gave Powney a conditional discharge for the period of 12 months and fined him £85 costs.