Mum who threw pool ball during "one-and-a-half seconds of madness" appears in court

A "rowdy" mum threw a pool ball which hit a stranger's head and knocked her off her seat during "one-and-a-half secondsof madness" in a town centre pub.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 4:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st July 2021, 5:44 pm

Louise Cooke, who had been asked to calm down, launched the missile with "some force" and hit a customer at the bar.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim was knocked off her chair, may have lost consciousness and suffered a cut to her the side of her head that was surgically glued when she was taken to hospital.

Cooke, 29, a mum-of-two, left the pub straight after and was found by police using the bar's track and trace system.

Louise Cooke, who admitted assault.

She claims to have no recollection of what she did.

CCTV footage from inside the bar shows blonde Cooke, who is wearing a hooded jacket, select a ball from the pool table and throw it before holding her hands to her head and leaving.

Prosecutor Kate Barnes told the court the victim had been at the Royal Arms pub in North Shields, North Tyneside, last September to visit her friend Vivien Amos, the manager.

Cooke, 29, was playing pool with two men, who she was arguing with and appeared to under the influence of drink and drugs.

Miss Barnes said: "She was observed grabbing other people's drinks and appeared to be annoyed the male she was with wouldn't buy her a drink."

The court heard Cooke had picked up a pool ball and "raised it above her head as if to throw it" but then slammed it back down and continued arguing with the males.

Miss Barnes added: "The complainant got up and moved further away from the pool table because the group was becoming increasingly rowdy.

"She then describes feeling a pop on the back of her head, as well as immediate pain and she fell to the ground."

The court heard as that happened, Ms Amos had already approached the group and taken their drinks from them and may have been the intended target.

The victim said in a statement she was left "shaken up" and scared of any repercussions that could follow.

She added: "The last few months have been hard enough during lockdown but since the assault I've felt extremely anxious in the house, I'm always on edge, thinking someone will come to my door.

"I'm also on edge when I go outside, it made me cut my hours at work.

"I've started to suffer headaches, which I never had a problem with before."

Shaun Routledge, mitigating, said Cooke had "expressed a great deal of remorse" for what she did.

He added: "It was an impulsive, spontaneous and short-lived incident. It was one-and-a-half seconds of madness."

Cooke, of Balkwell Green, North Shields, who has three previous convictions involving violence and damage, admitted assault.

Mr Recorder Simon Eckersley sentenced Cooke to nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with programme and rehabilitation requirements, as well as 80 hours’ unpaid work.

He told Cooke: "You caused a very nasty injury by what you did, a cut to her head requiring it to be surgically glued.

"You say you can't remember what you did because you were intoxicated.

"You used a weapon to injure someone after a period of time in the pub being noisy, disruptive and argumentative."