A SERIAL offender who hit her neighbour over the head with a hammer following an argument over the illicit sale of prescribed drugs has been jailed for a year.

Tara Cofield, 43, grabbed the weapon from the kitchen of her home in Bell Farm, York, where she attacked Gemma Bradford – leaving her victim with a gash to the left side of her head, York Crown Court heard on Monday.

Alan Mitcheson, prosecuting, said the attack in May this year followed an argument on the street outside her home earlier that day. He said Miss Bradford was seen arguing with Cofield for breaking a pre-arranged deal to sell her the prescribed drug methadone.

The court heard how there were suggestions Cofield had sold the drug to someone else. Mr Mitcheson said the argument spilled inside Cofield’s flat where she then attacked Miss Bradford with the hammer, before kicking her out into the street.

Police and ambulance were called and Cofield told officers at the scene: “I am not a bad person – I just had a bad moment.”

Miss Bradford’s head injury needed treatment at York Hospital. She also suffered bruising to her hands and upper arms.

Cofield was later arrested and charged. She pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding at an earlier hearing. At the sentencing hearing, the court heard how Cofield had 24 previous convictions for 84 offences.

Mitigating, Kate Batty, said: “This is a defendant who certainly in that split second lost her temper. She is absolutely someone who has had a temper problem in her life.”

Sentencing Cofield, who moved to Halifax following the attack, the Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst told her: “When a hammer is used to cause injury then I would be failing in my public duty if I did not mark what you did with a prison sentence.”