Sheriff challenges road rage woman to knit her way out of prison

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A road rage woman who punched a motorist across the face has been told her only hope of avoiding prison is to prove she is an expert knitter.

Amanda McCabe from Dundee is said to have tailed her victim, Claire Smith, for several miles before boxing her in, hauling open her driver’s side door and punching her across the face.

At Dundee Sheriff Court, McCabe claimed the apparent pursuit was a simple coincidence, as she was a “keen knitter” and planned to visit a specialist wool shop near to where the assault took place.

On hearing that, Sheriff Rafferty laid down a challenge – one that he said could be the difference between liberty and prison.

He told McCabe she would return to court on December 14 with “multiple knitted items” capable of being sold in a charity shop and raising money for good causes.

Put on the spot, she claimed she could knit a jumper in two-to-three-days at a cost of £6 to £7.

Amanda McCabe was set a knitting challenge.
Amanda McCabe was set a knitting challenge.

Depute Fiscal John Adams said Ms Smith and a friend had been driving along the Kingsway when the accused entered from a slip road.

“Ms Smith was not very impressed with the accused’s driving and made her feelings known,” he said.

“Unfortunately this led to the accused following Ms Smith for around five to ten minutes, from the Kingsway to Cardean Street.”

When Ms Smith, feeling under pressure, took a wrong turn and entered a car park to perform a U-turn, McCabe pounced.

She boxed-in her road rival’s car and leapt from her drivers’ seat before opening her door and punching her once on the right side of her face.

Ms Smith was left with a red mark but did not require medical attention.

The court heard that McCabe had a previous criminal record but no convictions for violence and nothing within the past decade.

She is a keen knitter and a nearby specialist wool shop was her destination

Solicitor Jim Laverty told the court: “She is utterly ashamed of herself and says that it was simply a loss of control.

“As for following the complainer, she indicates that Cardean Street was her intended journey’s end.

“She is a keen knitter and a nearby specialist wool shop was her destination, but unfortunately this was the same direction in which the complainer preceded her.”

Sheriff Rafferty told McCabe: “This was a quite shocking incident.

“You went in the same direction as your victim, at the very least, and then went to her car door and assaulted her, though I accept that it was out of character.

“If you are a skilled knitter then I am sure that you could produce some goods for charity.

“You will bring to court several items that you have knitted that you are prepared to donate to a charity shop.

“It will not be a meagre amount. You have committed a serious offence.

“You have committed serious offences but you have a chance to do something useful with your time. Take this chance.”

McCabe, of Maplewood Drive, admitted assaulting Claire Smith in Cardean Street on January 8 this year by punching her on the head.

Sentence was deferred until December for her to be of good behaviour and to produce the knitted items requested by the court.

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