Jail for 40-year-old who beat a woman with learning difficulties


By Cara Sulieman

A 40-year-old has been jailed after beating a woman with learning difficulties around the head with a bottle.

Natalie Paterson launched a brutal attack on Emma Flint before taking all her possessions and £50 in cash.

The thug also received a jail term for a separate attack on a 15-year-old child.

Paterson sobbed in the dock yesterday (weds) as she was jailed for 14 months over the assault and robbery.

She received two months for the assault on the child.

Sheriff Alistair Noble heard about Paterson’s troubled past, but said he had no other choice but to jail her because of the gravity of the offences.

On August 7, 2008 Paterson beat Ms Flint on the head with a bottle, punched and kicked her before putting her in a headlock and forcing her to the ground in an underpass in Murrayburn Drive, Edinburgh.

She then took her victim’s two mobile phones, bank card, bus pass, cigarettes, house keys and £50 cash.

Ms Flint was severely injured after the attack and was left permanently disfigured.

Defence lawyer Paul Dunn told Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday (weds) that Paterson had been the victim of a serious crime herself in 2005 and had spiralled into a series of crimes.

He said: “She was the victim of a serious crime in 2005 and her offending seems to have started after that.

“It was a short lived period of offending from 2005 to 2009.”

Mr Dunn went on to say that Paterson was now in a stable relationship and taking steps to get off the drink and drugs she turned to after being the victim of a crime.

Sheriff Noble also sentenced Paterson to two months in prison for an attack on a child in February 2009.

Paterson had pushed the child before grabbing them by the neck in the assault to injury.

Sentencing Paterson, Sheriff Noble said: “It’s obvious that much has happened to you since you have been a child.

“There is a difficulty in dealing with this case in any way other than custody due to the gravity of the offence.

“You did participate in an assault and robbery on a woman with learning difficulties.

“There was a degree of injury and a degree of permanent disfigurement.

“It can only be dealt with by way of custody.”