A WOMAN who battered a 14-year-old girl in the street near a school has been spared jail.

Lorraine Lavelle grabbed the youngster by the hair in Paisley’s Crossflat Crescent, which is near to Paisley Grammar School.

One of the girl’s friends gave evidence in Lavelle’s Paisley Sheriff Court trial, telling the court what happened.

The teenager said: “I can just remember them arguing when I was walking down the street.

“I think it was over something silly.

“She had a hold of [my friend], around the arms and the torso, high up.

“[My friend] was pretty annoyed after it.”

And he identified Lavelle in court as being the woman involved, saying: “I remember her in the confrontation with [my friend].”

Another friend of the alleged victim also gave evidence. 

The 17-year-old said: “She [my friend] got pulled by the back of the head.

“There were words exchanged. 

“[My friend] was shocked and angry after the incident.”

He also identified Lavelle in court as being the woman he believed had committed the alleged assault.

Lavelle had lodged a special defence of alibi, claiming she was with her boyfriend at the time but her victim knew her and also identified her.

Last month, at the end of the trial, Procurator Fiscal Depute David Glancy asked Sheriff Frances McCartney to convict Lavelle of both charges she faced - assault and behaving in a threatening or abusive way.

The prosecutor explained: “It’s not like this is a chance encounter [for the victim] with someone she doesn’t know.

“This is someone she does know from living in the area and someone she does know from there being a prior relationship. There is solid identification.”

Lavelle returned to the dock this week with the prospect of a 12-month jail term hanging over her head.

But she was allowed to walk free from court after being placed on a Community Payback Order which will see her supervised by social workers for 18 months. She was also made the subject of a 12-week-long Restriction of Liberty Order.

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