Woman jailed for attack on street musician outside Fishergate Marks and Spencer

Posted on - 25th October, 2019 - 3:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Avenham, Crime, Preston City Centre, Preston News
Lisa McFarlane

A woman who assaulted a busker and stole her hatful of money has been jailed for 10 weeks.


Lisa McFarlane, 34, targeted the woman who was playing her guitar outside the old BHS store in Fishergate on Sunday 22 September.

Preston Crown Court heard the busker was sheltering from the rain under the canopy when she noticed McFarlane approaching, carrying a blue sleeping bag on her back.

McFarlane spoke briefly to a man outside Marks and Spencer before heading over to the sheltered area, where the busker was performing.

As she did so, she reached down and grabbed the woman’s hat, which contained around £5 in loose change.

The busker tried to hold on to her hat, but McFarlane dragged her along the ground, threatening to headbutt her and hit her with her guitar if she called the police.

She then picked up the loose change, which had fallen to the ground, and made off – continuing with her threats to the busker.

The busker was left shaken, with cuts and bruises to her knees and ribcage. Her leggings were also torn during the attack, the court heard.

McFarlane, of Knowsley Street, Preston, was arrested in connection with the attack, along with a shoplifting from Marks and Spencer the same day.

She pleaded guilty to theft and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Read more: Crime news from Blog Preston

Judge Andrew Woolman, sentencing, said: “The circumstances are rather mean because I don’t suppose the victim in this case had much money, and you didn’t have much money because you are dependant on drugs and you needed more money to buy drugs.

“You have quite a bad record for offences of shoplifting and assault, accompanied by an assault on a store detective.

“Because of your record, these offences do cross the custody threshold.

“They are not by any means the most serious offences of theft or assault.”

McFarlane, who has been homeless for three years, told the court she plans to ‘sort herself out’ when she is released from prison, and tackle her drug problems so she can re-establish a relationship with her children.

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