Cash row led to street fracas in Preston, court told

Two women began fighting in a city street in a row over money one had refused to pay back, a court has heard.

Avenham Street
Avenham Street

Defendant Ashley Spencer Hughes, 23, of Croasdale Avenue, Ribbleton, Preston, had lent the other woman, Melissa Taylor in good faith - but was then told she would not be getting it back from her.

Prosecuting at Preston Magistrates’ Court, Martine Connah said officers received reports of an assault on Avenham Street in Preston at 4.10pm on April 7.

The women had been seen raising fists and making punching motions before ending up scuffling in the road.

Both parties walked off, and a woman matching Spencer-Hughes’ description was seen to enter the Clifton Hotel, Fishergate Hill.

The other woman did not wish to pursue charges, but Spencer-Hughes later admitted using threatening or abusive behaviour with intent to cause fear of violence.

Magistrates were told she had 25 offences on her record and was on a community order at the time.

Defending, Emanuele Bellanca said there had been a “significant degree of provocation”.

He said: “She does suffer from mental health problems. She’s got a personality disorder and currently taking Olanzapine.

“The offence surrounds an acquaintance who has taken advantage of her and stated she had no money and was without any food.

“ As a result my client lent her £95 over a two week period.

“On April 7 the two parties meet - it was the defendant’s understanding she would pay back the money in due course. But she stated she was not paying it back.

“The incident quickly escalated and resulted in a short scuffle which the defendant is regretful of.

“It lasted a matter of seconds. There were no injuries and both parties walked away.”

He added: “ The defendant is a vulnerable person. She accepts taking heroin and that this is a serious problem.

“She has an appointment to try and obtain methadone. She’s actively looking for accommodation and is trying to better her life.”

She must pay an £80 fine, £30 surcharge and £85 costs.