(Image: Northumbria Police)

In a distressing incident, Susan Robson, 42, carried out a brutal assault on her former best friend, who was seven months pregnant, leaving her with broken ribs. Appearing at Newcastle Crown Court via a link from HMP Low Newton, Robson faced sentencing for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, having previously pleaded guilty to the offense committed on January 15, 2022.

The victim, who had been friends with Robson and had even lived with her during early pregnancy, became the target of the attack after their relationship soured. Susannah Proctor, the prosecutor, revealed that the victim heard false rumors spread by Robson about her engaging in inappropriate behavior during pregnancy. Seeking resolution, the victim invited Robson to her Newcastle flat, where an intoxicated Robson, accompanied by an acquaintance, confronted her, demanding her to “get outside.”

During the confrontation, Robson violently dragged the victim to the floor by her hair, kicking her torso repeatedly. Fearing for her unborn baby, the victim threatened to call the police, prompting Robson and her acquaintance to flee the scene. The premature birth of the victim’s baby followed the assault, but it couldn’t be conclusively linked to the attack, told Chronicle Live.

In her statement, the victim expressed that Robson, once her best friend, could have caused a miscarriage due to the assault. The victim suffered two broken ribs and enduring psychological scars from the incident.

Robson, with a history of seven previous convictions for offenses including wounding and harassment, was also on license for a section 18 offense at the time of the assault. The defense argued that a property dispute might have triggered the confrontation, emphasizing that Robson had allowed the victim to live in her mother’s flat.

Judge Stephen Earl, acknowledging the severe consequences of gossip-driven violence, sentenced Robson to an 18-month community order, with 30 rehabilitation days. A two-year restraining order was also imposed, considering the time Robson had already spent in custody. The court deemed this sentence appropriate despite the gravity of the assault, factoring in Robson’s time served and the potential for rehabilitation.

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