Hammer-toting nan, 35, headbutted neighbour who rang doorbell in racist attack

A gran headbutted her neighbour and called him a racial slur for "constantly" ringing a communal doorbell after losing his key.

Nakita Sullivan, 35, screamed abuse down the intercom at "vulnerable" Aaroon Azim before marching downstairs to let him in — while holding a hammer.

Liverpool Crown Court heard she headbutted the man in the face and hurled a racial slur at him as she returned to her flat, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Catherine Ellis, prosecuting, said there had been no issues between Sullivan and Mr Azim at the flats in St Michael's Grove, Kensington before the incident on September 17, 2019.

"Mr Azim had lost the key to the block and was unable to enter without ringing the doorbell to get another resident to open the door for him," she told the court.

Ms Ellis said by the time of the incident, at around 5.40pm, "he had been doing that certainly on his own account for about a fortnight".

She said when Sullivan heard the bell ring after Mr Azim, 32, returned from a walk, it appeared she had "simply had enough of him constantly disturbing her".

Sullivan screamed "Stop ringing my f***ing doorbell," then came down to let him in, which she could have done by pressing a button from her flat, and admits she confronted her neighbour with a hammer to "frighten" him.

"There was a confrontation on the doorstep and Mr Azim felt something hit him on the lip," Ms Ellis said.

"He didn't realise what that was. The basis of plea indicates in fact it was a headbutt."

Sullivan accepted that she referred to Mr Azim, who suffered a graze and scratched front tooth in the assault, using a racial slur.

Ms Ellis said "vulnerable" Mr Azim, who had a mental illness, was "left feeling like he was in danger in his own flat" and wanted to move out but wasn't facilitated by the housing association.

The prosecutor said there had been "a couple of complaints" since, but no further violence or racism.

"Mr Azim does not indicate that the racial element was anything that particularly played on his mind, it was more the feeling that he was unsafe," she said.

Sullivan denied any wrongdoing, but on the opening day of a trial last month admitted racially aggravated common assault and possessing an offensive weapon in public, entering a basis of plea, which was accepted by the Crown.

In June 2015 she was jailed for three years for assault causing actual bodily harm after a drunken attack on a Liverpool University student, in which the then 29-year-old was heard to yell "come and kill him".

She has other previous convictions for public disorder and dishonesty.

Peter Wilson, defending Sullivan, said she intended to move to Scotland in order to be with her grandson as soon as she can afford to.

He said she suffered from depression, agoraphobia, PTSD and anxiety, which stopped her attending college.

Mr Wilson said: "Prior to this offence she was in college, studying hair and beauty. She would wish to take that up again as soon as she can… She accepts and she is remorseful for the offending."

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Mr Wilson said a pre-sentence report found there was "a realistic prospect of rehabilitation", because her past crimes were linked to drug misuse and she had not taken drugs "for a number of years" and not drunk alcohol for two years.

He said: "This offence was one in the heat of the moment, one she does regret and one she is apologetic for."

Judge Anil Murray said the basis of plea included that she didn't use the hammer and "the racial words were used in the spur of the moment".

The judge said the victim's statement made for "sad reading" and he described now living in "constant fear and panic", but acknowledge Sullivan was remorseful and had stayed out of trouble and away from drugs and alcohol since.

The judge noted she hadn't committed any offences between 2015 and 2019, was remorseful, wasn't thought to be a risk of serious harm, had a previous good response to supervision and had a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.

He handed her nine months in jail, suspended for two years, a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and a three-month home curfew, from 8pm to 8am daily.

Judge Murray also imposed a seven-year restraining order, reserving any breaches to himself and warned Sullivan that if they met again, she would likely go to prison.

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