Woman who threatened teenage swimmers with smashed vodka bottle is found guilty of possessing an offensive weapon

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A woman accused of threatening a group of schoolboys with a broken bottle at a Suffolk picnic site after they accused her of stealing a mobile phone has been found guilty by a jury of theft and having an offensive weapon.

The teenagers had been swimming in the River Gipping at a picnic site in Bramford last summer when they saw someone tampering with a rucksack belonging to one of them, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Mark Roochove, prosecuting, said the boys had got out of the water and confronted 33-year-old Hilary Nice, who was with two men.

During the incident Nice’s bag was ripped open and the mobile phone was found in it. Nice had become aggressive and had allegedly scratched a boy’s stomach and then smashed a vodka bottle and threatened the group of teenagers with it.

Mr Roochove told the court that the two men with Nice had admitted stealing the mobile phone.

Nice, of Bloomfield Street, Ipswich, denied theft of a mobile phone, assault by beating and possessing a broken glass bottle as an offensive weapon. The jury found her guilty of theft unanimously and guilty of having an offensive weapon by a majority verdict of 11-1. She was found not guilty of assault by beating.

Sentencing was adjourned until January 8 for a pre-sentence report.

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Giving evidence Nice, who suffers from bi-polar and a form of epilepsy, claimed she had found the mobile phone and had intended to hand it into the police.

She claimed the group of teenagers had accused her of stealing the phone and she had swung the bottle at them because she was scared after they surrounded her and shouted abuse after she had given the phone back to them.

She denied assaulting one of the boys.

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