Woman attacked mum and dad when she could not find her pet snail


An antique dealer headbutted her father in a rage when she could not find her pet snail, a court heard.

Kimberly Burns, 28, went ‘ballistic’ when she arrived home and could not trace the missing mollusc.

She shoved mother Lynne Burns, who was recovering from back surgery, calling her ‘every name under the sun.’

When her father John Burns intervened, she headbutted him in the face, giving him a bloody nose, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.

Prosecutor Kate Shilton said: ‘Ms Burns’ mother reports that on September 12 Kimberly found a snail.

‘She brought it into the house and wanted to keep it as a pet.’

But when Burns returned to her family home in Maida Vale, northwest London, she found the snail had slithered off.

‘On the day in question the snail was not in the house where she left it and she became upset,’ Ms Shilton added.

‘Her mother describes Kimberly as going ballistic, calling her every name under the sun.’

The confrontation was ‘too much’ for the parents, and Mr Burns called the police.

In a statement read out by the prosecution, Mr Burns said he would not feel comfortable with Kimberly coming back to the flat as he was scared what she would do.

But during the hearing Mrs Burns burst into tears in the public gallery and sobbed: ‘We desperately want her home.’

Nadia Dimitrova, defending, said: ‘Ms Burns has pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

‘She takes full responsibility for her actions, she is very ashamed and distressed that she has caused her parents so much grief over the past five years.

‘She is very sorry that her reactions were out of proportion.

‘She was reckless, she didn’t intend to cause her mother any harm, knowing how fragile her condition is.’

Speaking on behalf of Kimberly’s parents, Ms Dimitrova said: ‘They would love to have Kimberly back home with a plan set up to help her and guide her in the future.’

Kimberly was convicted for a common assault in April 2015 and has also received a caution for battery.

In both incidents, the victim was her mother.

District Judge Spyros Elia said: ‘Be under no illusion, one of the reasons we took a fair amount of time reaching your sentence is that we were considering very seriously whether you crossed the custody threshold or not.

‘Be under no illusion, you were very very close to that; these are very serious offences.

‘Should you do this ever again you may find the next bench may not be as lenient as we are.’

Burns, of (177b) Lanark Road, Maida Vale, admitted two charges of assault by beating.

She was given a 12-month community order and six months alcohol treatment requirement.

Burns must also complete 100 hours of unpaid work.