A WOMAN who was left with a shattered wrist after an unprovoked attack inside a trouble-hit nightclub has been scared to leave her own home following the encounter.

Victoria Pilkington was taken to hospital by a worker at the former Switch nightclub after she was pushed to the ground by Natasha Hoole, who thought the victim was interested in her boyfriend.

But Hoole was allowed to walk free from Preston Crown Court after Judge Andrew Jefferies QC said the state had ‘failed in its duties’ in getting the defendant in front of the courts in reasonable time.

Suspending Hoole’s 12-month sentence for one year, Judge Jefferies said: “You were interviewed in September of last year in regards to this offence and for reasons that are all too familiar in the current criminal justice system, you weren’t summonsed to appear until this year.

“That must mean for over a year you knew you were facing a serious charge.”

Hoole pushed Miss Pilkington to the ground after a heated exchange in the club in August 2018.

Footage from inside the Blackburn nightspot then showed the victim standing up and making her way towards the exit, before 27-year-old Hoole, who also uses the name Neasha, once again shoved her to the floor.

Prosecuting, David Clarke said: “There is background to this incident in that the victim, Miss Pilkington, met the defendant around four years before it took place.

“They had occasional problems since then as the defendant had become fixated on the idea that the victim had an interest in her partner.

“And so came the chance encounter in Switch, when the defendant approached the victim and started accusing her of sending messages to her boyfriend, which she denied.

“Soon after this, Miss Hoole walked over again shouting at the victim to get out.

“She was pushed to the chest and fell on her hands and arms.

“She maintains it was in this part of the incident she heard a large crack and was immediately in immense pain.”

Miss Pilkington required surgery following the fall, which resulted in two breaks and a shattered bone in her wrist.

The court heard how the victim has struggled to lead a normal life since the incident, suffering with mental health issues.

Mr Clarke added: “She is scared to go out sometimes. She has been diagnosed with insomnia and she feels that is linked to stress from the incident.”

Defending Hoole, of Summerville Walk, Blackburn, Neil Howard said: “Miss Hoole was the aggressor. She accepts that she should not have approached her – there was nothing Victoria Pilkington did for her to act in that way.

“She has expressed shock and disgust in her actions – she did not anticipate the result of her actions.”

Hoole had already pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm and was also ordered to do 40 days of rehabilitation. A restraining order has also been placed on Hoole forbidding her to approach Miss Pilkington.

Judge Jefferies added: “You are not going to prison today and the only reason for that ironically is that you have benefitted in the state failing to get you to court as quickly as it should have done.

“I want you to be under no illusion had it not been for that delay you would have been going downstairs today.”