These are the first pictures of the woman who hurled vile abuse at Simon Dobbin's wife after her brother and 11 others were jailed for a vicious attack that left him unable to walk or talk.
Leanne Nicholls screamed "at least we'll get our men back, you'll never get your f**king husband back" at Nicole, Basildon Magistrates' Court heard today (February 8).
The 39-year-old, who has 20 previous convictions, pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour against Nicole, with intent to cause fear of violence.
But she was spared jail, having her six-week sentence suspended for 12 months.
Beloved Cambridge United supporter Simon Dobbin, from Mildenhall, was left permanently brain damaged after the 90-second football violence attack in March 2015.
Back in July 2017, 13 men were sentenced for the violent attack and 12 jailed.
Today, the court heard Nicholls had told Nicole she was the one who had been "left with a life sentence" in a tirade of abuse.
The incident was caught on camera by members of the press – including the Cambridge News – and later investigated by Essex police.
"A tirade of very unpleasant abuse"
Mrs Doyle, prosecuting, said Nicole was subjected to comments made by family members of the defendants under their breath throughout the trial.
She added: “On July 14, Mrs Dobbin leaves Basildon Crown Court and there’s a significant presence outside. The press want to speak to her.
“She comes out, raises her fists and calls out ‘Justice for Dobbo’.
“The defendants’ families were already outside, including Leanne Nicholls – the sister of one defendant.”
“Nicholls was one of those who was the most aggressive towards Nicole.
"She had her face contorted in anger and she shouted out ‘you’ve got a life sentence, we’ve got a year or two’."
"You'll never get your f**king husband back"
A police officer at the scene said Nicholls “lost it”.
The prosecution claimed that Nicholls told Nicole "at least we’ll get our men back, you’ll never get your f***king husband back" – but magistrates were told Nicholls strongly denied this.
Her defence lawyer Jo Barham said someone else had made the comment.
She told the court: "Nicholls said she was disgusted at hearing that, saying Mrs Dobbin did not deserve that, neither did her husband."
Simon Dobbin trial
She thought justice hadn't been served
In police interview, Nicholls said she knew what she did was wrong, but was upset her brother had been convicted.
Ms Barham, mitigating, said Nicholls had not been waiting to purposely abuse Nicole, but was waiting for a lift from her husband.
“She said she didn’t plan to make any comments to Mrs Dobbin until Mrs Dobbin said ‘Justice for Dobbo’," Ms Barham added.
"She, at the time, felt her brother had been dealt an injustice."
Ms Barham said there were "clearly two sides to every story" and that it was "a difficult time for all parties".
"Regardless of who was right or wrong, there were families there who deeply felt for their loved ones and wanted the best outcome for them," she added.
Nicholls was “so disgusted and ashamed” she returned to Basildon Crown Court the next working day to apologise to staff for how events had unfolded, the court was told.
Magistrates also heard Nicholls, who is working towards setting up her own business as a carpet cleaner, constantly wishes she could turn back the clock.
What the magistrate said
During sentencing, magistrate Corinne White told Nicholls: “We’ve looked at the photos of the event and can see the level of anger in yourself and others.
“The fact there were so many people it must have made the victim feel very frightened indeed.
“This was a very serious and unpleasant exchange, but it was short lived.
"We are of the view that everyone involved in this whole event, including the original circumstances, would like to draw a line under this incident."
Nicholls, who was already on bail for another offence and also under a suspended sentence, was handed a six-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and pay £160 court costs.
What do you think to the sentence? Let us know in the comments section below.
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