A woman was given a suspended sentence for hurling abuse at the wife of a football fan who was left with life-changing injuries.

Leanne Nicholls, of Basildon, appeared at Basildon Magistrates' Court today charged with abusing the wife of Simon Dobbin.

He was left permanently disabled after being attacked following a football match in March 2015.


Following a trial at Basildon Crown Court in July 2017, 13 men were sentenced over their roles in the attack.

Outside the court, Nicholls was caught on footage by the Echo throwing abuse at Simon's wife, Nicole.

Nicholls today pleaded guilty to causing Nicole Dobbin harassment, alarm or distress, through using threatening abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

**Warning strong language**

Samantha Doyle, prosecuting, told the court: “On July 14 Mrs Dobbin leaves Basildon Crown Court and there’s a significant presence outside. The press want to speak to her.

“She comes out, raises her fists and calls out ‘Justice for Dobbo’.

“The press were waiting to speak to her - the defendant’s families were already outside including Leanne Nicholls.

“As Mrs Dobbin showed her happiness at the conviction, there was a tirade of abuse directed towards her by this defendant and others with her. Very unpleasant things were said to her.

“Nicholls was one of those who was the most aggressive towards her. She had her face contorted in anger and she shouts out ‘you’ve got a life sentence, we’ve got a year or two’.

“She then directs her comments towards Mrs Dobbin, saying: ‘at least we’ll get our men back, you’ll never get your f***king husband back’.

“There were officers there who asked Nicholls to calm down and keep her away from Mrs Dobbin - one officer describes Nicholls as having lost it.”

Nicholls denied saying that specific comment and told the court it sickened her to hear someone else say that to Mrs Dobbin.

The Magistrates accepted her remorse and acknowledged that the situation was tense for everyone involved.

She was given a six week sentence, suspended for 12 months. She also must complete 180 hours of unpaid work.

Following today’s result, DCI Martin Pasmore, said: "Nicholls subjected her victim to additional suffering following the conclusion of a very traumatic and intense court case.

“The victim had just experienced a very difficult time in her life and instead of being given the time to grief and take into account the outcome of a high profile case, she was put in a position where she feared for her own safety.

“Nicholls behaviour was not only targeted but very personal in nature. It was also witnessed by many people, including members of the press and police, and the evidence against her was overwhelming.

“I would like to thank the victim for her bravery and courage during this investigation and I hope today’s outcome offers some justice to her.”