‘Disappointed’ over £35 fine for attacker

Samantha Hall.
Samantha Hall.

A NURSE who is due to give birth any day has spoken about the impact an attack by a road rage thug has had on her pregnancy.

As reported in yesterday’s Mail, Tina Cooper, 29, was punched twice in the face through the open window of her Nissan Qashqai by Samantha Jane Hall during a road rage incident at the Anchor Retail Park car park, at Hartlepool Marina.

Despite targeting Tina, a nurse who was five months pregnant at the time, Hall was fined £35 and ordered to pay £50 compensation.

Justices at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court were told Hall had emerged from between two parked cars, causing Tina to brake and sound her horn.

But the shopping trip turned nasty when Hall marched over to Tina’s car and punched her in the face twice through the partially-open window.

Tina got out of the car and asked why Hall had hit her, especially as she was five months pregnant.

But magistrates were told the woman subjected Tina to a tirade of abuse and a male also appeared and joined in with the verbal attack.

Today Tina, who lives in Hartlepool and works for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospitals in Hartlepool and Stockton, said: “I can’t believe people can do that to random strangers.

“I wanted justice in case she did it to anybody else – what if it had been an elderly person?

“She thinks it’s acceptable to go around punching people.

“But I’m disappointed with the £35 fine – she has no incentive not to do it again.

“My main concern was the baby, it still is.

“This has caused me a lot of stress all the way through the pregnancy.”

She had to be treated at One Life Hartlepool, in Park Road, for reddening to her cheek.

Thankfully a scan revealed her baby, a girl, was fine.

Tina, who has been married for a year to Anthony Cooper, a 31-year-old plasterer, said Hall was walking in the middle of the road with her back to her so she beeped her horn and was about to pull into a space.

But Tina said Hall ignored her and as she pulled in, she could hear Hall calling her names.

Tina said she was talking to her passenger, mum Viv Doxford, but added: “I turned round and the next thing I knew her hand was coming through the window.

“She punched me twice and I was shocked, dismayed, like ‘did that really happen?’

“Two members of staff from B&M came out and said they saw it.

“I said ‘what do you think you’re playing at, I’m five months pregnant’.”

Tina said she is now too scared to go to the marina to shop and instead travels to Portrack Lane, in Stockton.

“I went through life without having any fights, and then this happened,” she said.

“It was totally unprovoked – I wouldn’t risk my job for it.

“She said in court I called her, but I only beeped my horn – she was the one mouthing abuse at me.”

Hall, of Chaplin Street, Seaham, admitted assault by beating on November 9 last year.

She had said Tina had called her a “chav” and claimed she could not recall whether her hands made contact with Tina’s face and that she only punched her once.

The mother-of-two, who receives Income Support, was also told to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.