Yob used hammer in ‘homophobic’ KFC disabled parking bay row – but avoids jail

A hammer-wielding thug who scrapped with a young couple in a row over a disabled parking bay has been spared jail .

Carol Lea, 55, was caught on camera grappling with Paige Misund in an "unseemly" scuffle in a car park.

A court heard she and wife Linda Lea, 56, arrived at Stonedale Retail Park in Croxteth, Liverpool, after a hospital appointment for Carol's degenerative back condition.

But Ms Misund and her partner Kieron Morgan were parked across two disabled bays, JPs were told today.

Liverpool Echo says the altercation then happened in the car park on May 8, during which Lea says she and her partner suffered homophobic abuse.

But Lea dodged jail at Liverpool Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to possession of an offensive weapon and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour.

She was instead fined £120 for having the hammer, another £85 for the threatening behaviour, court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £30. The cash will be deducted from her benefits.

Lea has had a blue parking badge since 2013 and her condition may leave her using a wheelchair.

Her lawyer David Achilles said: "There is nothing more annoying than someone [wrongly] parking in a disabled parking bay.

"It can cause problems. It causes immense amount of anger.

"Mrs Lea tried to park in a bay as sensibly and carefully as she could."

The solicitor added: "Her wife Linda Lea asked [Mr Morgan and Ms Misund] politely to move it so they could have access to their vehicle.

"This was met with a torrent of abuse.

"CCTV showed Linda Lea being assaulted.

"A rather unseemly incident too place.

"It is accepted Carol Lea went back to her vehicle, and took a hammer out.

"She was quickly disarmed by Linda who put it in the boot.

"The whole thing got out of hand, some homophobic abuse [took place].

"Carol Lea attempted to recover her hairband and mobile phone taken by one of the occupants.

"She gets in their car and then an unseemly incident took place.

"She tried and failed. That was the end of it.

"There are two sides to every story. The full picture is that Carol Lea, suspecting something was going wrong with the incident, took her own phone out and that footage was very revealing."

Lea, from St Helens, Merseyside, had Ms Misund in a headlock and it is said she suffered minor injuries.

Andrew Page, prosecuting, said police arrived at the scene and cautioned both Leas with affray

Carol was interviewed, but responded "no comment" to all officers' questions.

She did admit, however, that her behaviour "was not good."

Neither Mr Morgan or Ms Misund made a criminal complaint.

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