A teenage mother who battered a 16-year-old girl in a public park has been told to grow up by a judge.
Courtney Waller sent threatening messages to the victim the day before the attack in Torquay in which she came up behind her and set upon her.
She pulled her hair and kneed her repeatedly around the head during the attack last summer which took place within yards of Waller’s own baby son.
There had been a long running family feud between Waller and the victim and abusive messages or Facebook posts were made before and after the incident, Exeter Crown Court was told.
Waller, aged 20, of Teignmouth Road, Torquay, admitted sending offensive messages and assault causing actual bodily harm and was ordered to do 100 hours unpaid community work and complete a 19 day probation-run programme by Judge David Evans.
He told her: “The 16-year-old victim was hurt, she was scared, and was left with some continuing insecurity. As she said in her video interview, she felt sorry for the fact that you assaulted her when your young child was not far away.
“Your culpability in the assault was higher because of the repeated use of your knee, which created a risk of greater harm and was the equivalent to the use of a weapon.
“The aggravating factors are the age of the victim, 16 at the time, your cowardly need to approach her from behind, and the presence of others, including juveniles.
“The sentence must also reflect the seriousness of the offensive messages. I accept you were frustrated and angry as the result of a background of a family feud, but your response was unjustifiable.
“Your message to her was abusive and threatening and included repugnant racial insults. There has been some lapse of time since the offence and you need to carry on growing up and developing better ways of regulating your character.”
Mr Gareth Evans, prosecuting, said there had been ill feeling between Waller and the girl which led to Waller sending a racially charged message the night before the attack.
It warned her of what she would do if she saw the girl and on May 14 last year she came up to the victim from behind, pulled her hair and kneed her, leaving her with severe bruises.
Mr Lee Bremridge, defending, said Waller was struggling to cope with bringing up a young baby at the time but has made real changes to her life in the intervening time.
Her child was taken into foster care shortly afterwards and she has sought help voluntarily for her drink and drug issues and is working with Social Services with a view to being reunited with the baby.
He said that a probation report had shown how she is getting better at controlling her temper but would benefit from more help from the service.