A road rage mum branded an “unhinged maniac” by a judge for attacking another motorist with a car key has been spared jail – for the sake of her children.
Fuming Laura Line, 28, launched a foul-mouthed tirade at victim Gemma Geary, 37, after a near miss at a roundabout.
Line was spotted driving her Land Rover, with her two children in the back, at speed towards Ms Geary at 7.45am on June 19 last year in Dordon, Warks.
After being forced to brake hard, Line turned round and chased Ms Geary – who had the right of way – before pulling her car in front of hers, forcing her to stop.
Line then leapt out of the car and stormed up to Ms Geary’s window before screaming:
“You f***ing bitch. You don’t know who I am. I’m going to kill you.”
Line pulled at the partly-open window of Ms Geary’s car, causing some damage to it, before pulling the door open and punching her in the face.
She struck her again and pulled her hair, then grabbed Ms Geary’s keys and held them with one key protruding between her fingers and hit her again in the face.
Line, of Baddesley Ensor, Warks., was convicted of assault and causing damage to her car following a trial at Warwick Crown Court.
She was sentenced to 21 months, suspended for two years with a rehabilitation activity for 35 days and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work on Friday (4/5).
Judge Anthony Potter said: “You are responsible not for one, or two, but three children.
“You should feel thoroughly ashamed of yourself for what you put them through.
“Not only did they have to witness you behaving like an unhinged maniac, but they have had to pick up the sense of anxiety over this court case.
“You should bear that in mind for every day of the next two year, because I am going to suspend the sentence, against my better judgement.
“The children are probably just better off having you at home rather than having both parents in prison.
“But if you breach any of the requirements, you will go to prison, and it won’t matter about your children. They will have to go into care, and you will be responsible for that.”
Prosecutor Caroline Harris told the court Line flew into a rage after she was forced to brake as she tried to cross a mini-roundabout but failed to give way to Ms Geary.
She said: “Line’s children in the back of the Land Rover had begun screaming, and when
Ms Geary drew her attention to that, she responded by telling her: ‘F*** you, I’m going to kill you. Don’t you know who I am?’”
A man who witnessed the incident went to help Ms Geary, and as Line got back into the Land Rover and began to drive off, he thought she was going to hit him.
He reached into the Land Rover to try to retrieve Ms Geary’s keys, which Line then handed to him before driving off.
The court heard Line had a previous conviction for affray and a reprimand for assault.
Alison Downs, defending, said: “She is a young lady who saw red mist on that occasion.”