Motherwell woman repeatedly struck terrified boy, 5, in front of horrified Tesco shoppers

The woman attacked the five-year-old at a Tesco in Carfin.
-Credit: (Image: Google Maps)

A woman who attacked a five-year-old boy in front of horrified Tesco shoppers has been warned she faces jail.

Jacqueline Lees, 47, left the youngster terrified in the store in Carfin, Lanarkshire.

Members of the public and staff members watched in shock as Lees shouted and swore before picking the child up and repeatedly striking his body.

Lees was approached by a shocked bystander who asked her to stop her behaviour but she refused and police were called in.

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Lees then confronted the witness before telling her she gave 'Asians a bad name' and spitting in her face. She then spat at three police officers who had arrived at the scene on New Year's Eve 2021.

Lees, of Motherwell, Lanarkshire, appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court and admitted wilfully ill-treating the child and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner. She also pled guilty to four assault charges and failing to appear in court.

Depute fiscal Aga Mathieson said: "She was observed within the Tesco by a number of members of the public to be shouting at the child and physically hitting the child on his bottom and body.

"A number of people tried to intervene to ask her to stop, however she was shouting back at them to 'f**k off'.

"She was trying to explain that she was disciplining the child but was then observed to grab the child and put the boy over her shoulder and slap him a number of times when he was in a state of distress.

"She placed the child on the ground at the entrance to Tesco and continued to shout and swear towards members of the staff and the public."

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The prosecutor added: "A member of the public approached the accused and asked her to stop and said the police had been contacted and she was trying to get the accused to stop distressing the child further.

"She then followed the witness and approached her as she sat in her car and stated 'you give Asians a bad name' and thereafter spat in her face.

"When police officers were dealing with the accused, she spat on all three officers and a spit hood was applied before she was taken to the police station."

Scott Jones, defending, said: "There are issues here which would be better explored with the benefit of a full social work report."

Sheriff John Speir deferred sentence on Lees until July for reports and continued bail.

He warned: "Even though the threshold for custody has been passed, especially for spitting at police officers, I'm satisfied that I can call for a report but all options remain open."