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Totton woman Sophie Wood (31) jailed for more than five years for attacking ex-friend in Pennington street

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A WOMAN who left a former lifelong friend with a facial scar after attacking her with a garden tool has been jailed for more than five years.

Sophie Wood (31) set upon Sarah Cooper in Pennington on 9th July last year because she believed the victim was a “grass”, Southampton Crown Court heard.

Ms Cooper had secured a restraining order against her former boyfriend Lewis Cooper (no relation), explained prosecutor Charlie Gabb, which had angered Wood, a recovering crack cocaine user.

Sophie Wood
Sophie Wood

He said the exact relationship between Mr Cooper and Wood was not known, but the defendant had written online about how she was going to get Ms Cooper, whom she had known since they were children.

“It was nothing to do with her [Sophie Wood] at all but she made it her business,” Mr Gabb said. “She had been posting messages online about Sarah Cooper saying how she was ‘going to do her in’.”

Just after 5pm on the day of the incident, Wood confronted Ms Cooper on her doorstep. But the pair appeared to make up, and walked away from the property together, Mr Gabb explained.

In an apparent “set-up”, however, Mr Gabb told how Mr Cooper, his father and another woman then leapt out on the victim shortly afterwards in Efford Way.

Mr Cooper shoved Ms Cooper before he egged-on Wood to attack her, exclaiming: “Go on, give it to her, give it to the grass”, Mr Gabb told the court.

“The two women then started to have a scrap,” he said, throwing punches, shouting and pulling at each other’s hair before going to the ground.

The fight appeared over, with Ms Cooper walking away but Wood found an “edging tool” close by and struck the victim across the head.

When Ms Cooper fell to the ground, Wood struck again, knocking her out and inflicting bruises to her torso and legs, before walking off.

Ms Cooper regained consciousness but was ignored by residents and left to walk the streets alone and bloodied until police found her, Mr Gabb said.

The incident happened in Efford Way, Pennington
The incident happened in Efford Way, Pennington

In hospital she had four stitches to a wound above her left eye, which will leave a permanent scar.

Wood, of Powell Crescent, Totton, initially pleaded not guilty to a charge of wounding with intent, and in her defence insisted she was the victim.

The trial was delayed, and later Wood had a change of heart and admitted she was culpable.

The court heard she had 57 previous offences, including battery, petty thefts and the burglary of her mother’s home.

For that, Wood had been jailed for 18 months and given a restraining order against contacting her mother.

Defending, Paul Walker said his remorseful client could not control her temper and prison was inevitable, which was a shame as in the 18 months before the incident she had stayed out of trouble and weaned herself off drugs.

He explained she had a violent and abusive childhood that necessitated her being placed into care at 14, and her development had been stunted.

Judge Christopher Parker had requested a special report to into whether he should class Wood as a dangerous offender but added, on balance, he did not think she was.

That was based on her remorse and change in her behaviour before the attack. Although she had concocted a “ridiculous story” in her defence, her eventual plea showed she did realise the impact of her offending, he said.

Wood was handed a total sentence of five years and four months jail.

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