A WOMAN who punched a girl, pulled her hair and threatened her with a tin opener was spared a prison sentence.

Sara Trew, a 38-year-old alcoholic, of Ruperra Close, Bassaleg, Newport, was found guilty of child cruelty by a jury after a trial.

She was sentenced to a community order after a judge at the city’s crown court said she could be rehabilitated.

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Suzanne Payne, prosecuting, said: “This offence took place under the influence of alcohol.”

Trew, the court heard, was of “previous clean character” and had no previous convictions.

Judge Neil Bidder QC told the defendant: “You pulled the child’s hair and her head hit a door.

“You threatened her with a tin opener and punched her.”

But he said he recognised her severe drink problem was behind her offending.

Judge Bidder added: “This was due to chronic abuse of alcohol.

“At one stage, you asked the Recorder of Cardiff to remand you in custody, and you were for a time, because you couldn’t cope outside.”

He told the court: “This was drink taken out of compulsion. This is a case of pure alcoholism.

“Her memory has been substantially affected by drink.”

Addressing the defendant, he told her: “You are making real efforts and I believe rehabilitation is possible, although it will take a long time.”

The court heard Trew is “unemployed and unemployable”.

Ieuan Bennett, mitigating, said: “The defendant has fallen from grace for quite some time. What caused her to career off the cliff head is unknown.

“She became addicted to drink in a serious way.

“She hasn’t touched a drop for at least two weeks and is determined to stop drinking, certainly during the daytime.”

The judge sentenced Trew to an 18-month community order and a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

She must also pay an £85 victim surcharge.

No order for prosecution costs was made because the defendant doesn’t have the means to pay them.