A furious Avon lady kneed a pregnant woman in the stomach after they became embroiled in a violent road rage duel over an empty parking space.
The shocking incident took place outside the World Museum in Liverpool around noon on February 19 this year. It led to a two week horror wait where the victim worried her unborn baby might’ve been injured or worse.
Jessica Stevens had bought a parking ticket outside the tourist attraction and was going to park in an empty bay when Cheryl Hayes, 49, tried to get to the spot first.
Miss Stevens thought Hayes’ driving was aggressive so got out and knocked on her bonnet and windscreen and confronted her before she returned to her car to put the ticket in the windscreen.
Hayes then came back after her, knocking on her vehicle and asking ‘how do you like it?’ before the two had an argument that would escalate.
Hayes was said to have shouted: “I am going to t* you in a minute” at mum-of-three Stevens and called her a ‘c*t’ after she tried unsuccessfully to steal a bay where the victim was about to park her Range Rover.
Sefton magistrates’ court heard how Miss Steven tried to push Hayes away, but in front of Miss Stevens’ distressed children Hayes struck her in the head and face before grabbing her by the hair and pulling her to her knees.
She then kneed Miss Stevens’ pregnant belly and only stopped her attack when her 21-year-old son dragged her away.
At the time Miss Stevens had been 18 weeks pregnant with her fourth child and she was subsequently admitted to the Countess of Chester Hospital.
She had an anxious two week wait before being told her unborn baby had survived the attack unscathed.
In a statement to police the mum said: ”At the time I was very shocked. I was 18 weeks pregnant and I was concerned that the woman had harmed my unborn child.
“I also had my children in the car who were upset and hysterical. I had to reassure them after what happened and they had difficulty going to sleep.
“Following the incident, I did not want to go out in public and was fearful something like that could happen again.
“What happened really shook me up. I was physically sore and aching afterwards. Her behaviour was disgusting and completely uncalled for. At the time it made me feel sick to the stomach. I had to wait two weeks for the result of a scan to see if my baby was OK. It felt like a lifetime. I had sleepless nights.
“It upsets me deeply that I may not have had my baby due to this behaviour and it deeply upsets me that my children had to witness me being attacked in what should be a family friendly place. It is just beyond words. I hope that this woman is appalled and ashamed of her behaviour, assaulting a pregnant woman in front of minors.”
At Sefton magistrates court, Hayes, from Litherland, Merseyside who has two children was ordered to pay Miss Stevens £500 compensation after she admitted assault.
Andrew Page, prosecuting, explained how the confrontation came about.
He said the parking spaces on William Brown Street were initially all occupied so Miss Stevens parked up in the coach spaces opposite the museum entrance to wait for a space to become available.
Hayes, who was driving a blue Skoda, then pulled up behind Miss Stevens’ black Range Rover.
“The complainant [Miss Stevens] got out of her car to purchase a parking ticket but as she walked back to her car, another vehicle left making a parking space available,” Mr Page said.
He continued: “The defendant [Hayes] was in her car and she drove in an attempt to put her car in the parking space. The complainant believed the defendant’s driving to be aggressive so she knocked on the bonnet and the windscreen. But there was a verbal argument between Miss Stevens and the defendant.
”Miss Stevens then went to put the ticket in her car after which Hayes then got out of her car and approached her. She banged on her vehicle aggressively, asking ‘How do you like it?’.
”The complainant asked the defendant to ‘Stop it’ as there were children in her car and she tried to push her away. But the defendant struck her in the head and face and then grabbed her hair and pulled her to her knees. She then kneed her in the stomach.”
Hayes claimed she felt threatened and that the situation caused her autistic son massive distress.
She denied swearing at Miss Stevens and in mitigation defence lawyer Keith Webster said “regrettably the defendant’s human nature kicked in.”
Hayes was also ordered to complete a 12-month community order plus 150 hours of unpaid work and 15 days of rehabilitation activity. She will have to pay £215 in costs and victim surcharge.