Women involved in nightclub 'cat fight' to be tagged

PUBLISHED: 11:14 22 March 2007 | UPDATED: 13:54 04 May 2010

A YOUNG Mildenhall mother involved in a cat fight at a night club has been ordered to be electronically tagged. Sentencing Terri Rippingale at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday, Judge David Goodin told her: This was a disgraceful scrap in a public place.

A YOUNG Mildenhall mother involved in a 'cat fight' at a night club has been ordered to be electronically tagged.

Sentencing Terri Rippingale at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday, Judge David Goodin told her: "This was a disgraceful scrap in a public place."

Rippingale, 19, and Holly Lewin, 21, had ended up on the floor during the incident on April 23 last year at a club in Bury St Edmunds, wrestling and pulling at each other's hair.

The women both pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault. The court heard that each had been charged with assaulting the other during the incident, which Judge Goodin said could only be described as a 'cat fight'.

Rippingale, of Gonville Crescent, Mildenhall, and Lewin, of Baldwin Avenue, Bury St Edmunds were told they would be subject to a 7pm to 7am curfew for the next 10 weeks, enforced with electronic tagging. Each will also have to pay £30 towards the costs of the prosecution.

The court heard that Rippingale and Lewin deeply regretted what had happened. The fight broke out after both had been drinking.

Nicola May, representing Rippingale, said she had been drinking. "It is, of course, not an excuse.

"It is perhaps an explanation why her actions went beyond what was reasonable."

Miss May said: It was very much a wake-up call to Miss Rippingale. It is fair to say that alcohol is identified as an issue in this young woman's life."

While Rippingale had admitted assault, she too had been a victim as had Lewin. "It seems that both girls gave as good as they got" said Miss May.

Rippingale, who had suffered problems in her younger life and still had flashbacks of a violent stabbing she had witnessed, had not been out to a nightclub since the incident.

Appearing for Lewin, Joanne Eley said she admitted to having displayed 'appalling' behaviour and whatever had been the cause, she should not have allowed herself to have become involved as she did.

Miss Eley said that Lewin's judgement could be affected by alcohol and as a result of the incident, she too had since not been out to any clubs.

"This was a one-off situation that got completely out of hand," said Miss Eley. "She has learned from her mistake."

Judge Goodin told Lewin and Rippingale that they had come very close to being given a custodial sentence but he had decided that a curfew was more appropriate.

However, he warned both women that if they broke the curfew or became involved in any similar behaviour to that which they had pleaded guilty, a prison sentence would be highly likely.

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