In August last year, Sunderland city centre was the location of a rather odd and violent incident involving a pregnant woman, her mother, a man they knew and his partner – all whilst enjoying a night out at the city’s Mecca Bingo.
The man punched the pregnant woman and her mum after an argument erupted inside the bingo hall between the two families.
44 year old Stephen Alderson was at the Mecca Bingo in Holmeside with his partner, when he ran into Maria Wade and her daughter Paula. An argument flared up as a result of a disagreement going back many years.
Oil rig worker Alderson assaulted both Maria and Paula – who was 6 six months pregnant at the time – by punching them.
Prosecutor Paul Anderson spoke at the city’s magistrates’ court: “These offences go back to August 16th at the Mecca Bingo in Holmeside.
“There was an ongoing dispute between the Wade family and the defendant’s partner.
“It goes further than that because he goes over and points his finger into Maria Wade’s face.
“He then punches her in the face three or four times.
“Paula Wade says to him ‘get off my mother’ and he punches her. She is six months pregnant at the time. As far as Maria Wade is concerned she suffered a swollen bottom and top lip and a sore left cheek.
“Paula Wade suffers soreness and had her hair pulled.”
Mr Anderson added: “Both victims made personal statements.
“Maria Wade says she feared for the safety of her and her family.
“She said ‘I think he is a coward and a bully’.
Anna Haq, mitigating said “He states to me that there is a long history between himself and the Wade family.
“It goes back to when Mr Anderson’s father was assaulted by one of the Wade family’s sons.
“Mr Alderson states he has gone along to the bingo not knowing that the Wade family would be present.”
The version of events is that Mr Alderson walked past a table to go to the toilet. They saw him walk past, and when he comes back they start shouting and being abusive. He approached them and there was an altercation.
He claims to have not been aware that Paula Wade was pregnant at the time and could not tell she was.
Alderson was fined £3,280 and also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120, costs of £85 and compensation of £200 each to Maria and Paula Wade.
He was also given a restraining order preventing him from contacting either woman.
What drama at the bingo hall!