A mother who attacked two young teen girls that bullied her daughter was found guilty of assault on Tuesday, but defended her actions and maintained that she’s “not a thug.”
Joanne Higgs, 33, reportedly chased, pushed and punched 13-year-old Lilly Hulse and 15-year-old Dominique Nash after she discovered that Hulse had been bullying her daughter, Demi Knox, along with other students. Some students allegedly threw eggs at Higgs’ house.
“These kids were taunting me in the street, they were hanging round my house. There were shouting abuse at me and my daughter,” Higgs told the Manchester Evening News. “I had tried to resolve it with the school and some of the parents after the fight but had no joy. I just wanted them to stop harassing my daughter. She’d already suffered enough.
“I had tried to call the police to tell them about it,” she added.
Higgs’ attack followed a dispute on a playground between the teens and Demi. Higgs said she’s aware that she was wrong for assaulting the girls, but just wanted her daughter to stop being tormented.
“I know what I did was wrong but I’m not a thug or a chav [sic],” she said. “I acted on how I was feeling at that time. I don’t think I am the victim – it’s my daughter who has been the victim in all this. She’s had a nightmare.” According to Higgs, the bullying was so severe that she was forced to remove Demi from school.
Higgs was given a 15-week suspended sentence for assaulting the teens, and was ordered to compensate the victims.
“I want to put all this behind me,” Higgs said. “All I want is peace my daughter and my family. Demi has had no happy years at school.”
Middleton Technology School, the school that Demi, Hulse and Nash attended, issued a response to the incident and denied Higgs’ previous claims that staff didn’t intervene as much as they could have.
“I hope that Miss Higgs is not trying to deflect the responsibility for her actions by seeming to blame the school,” Middelton teacher Allison Crompton said. “I strongly refute Miss Higgs’ comments. As an adult, Miss Higgs made her own choices about her appalling behavior. The school was dismayed and disgusted that our students were attacked in this way by an adult.”