The mother of murdered schoolgirl Tia Sharp has been spared jail after racially abusing a Kosovan woman and punching her in the face in a row over a parking space.

Natalie Sharp, 34, was found guilty of attacking Selvete Selmani in the car park of Wallington Lidl last April after shouting: "You f***ing c**t, go back to your own country."

Sharp's mother, Christine Bicknell, 50, was also found guilty of racially harassing Ms Selmani, who told Croydon Crown Court: "I thought she [Sharp] was going to kill me."

A jury took less than three hours to convict the pair following a three-day trial. Sharp denied racially aggravated assault by beating, but admitted one count of assault.

FROM THE TRIAL: Mum of murdered schoolgirl Tia Sharp 'racially abused and punched shopper in row over parking space' at Wallington Lidl

The court heard that Bicknell shouted "You f***ing foreign bitch" at Ms Selmani after the victim parked her VW Golf in a child and baby parking bay, despite not having her child with her.

The abuse continued inside the Beddington Gardens store as the "upset" Ms Selmani queued to pay for her shopping, prosecutor Duncan Cooke QC told the jury.

When Ms Selmani left the store she found her car had been scratched and confronted Bicknell in her car.

Mr Cooke said: "Ms Sharp opened the car door and there were then words exchanged between them. Sharp then said 'you f***ing c**t, go back to your own country'.

"She punched her three times to the side of the head, kicked her, and grabbed her by the hair."

Sharp's two young sons were in the back seat of the car during the attack, which left Ms Selmani with two black eyes and swelling and bruising on both cheeks.

FROM THE TRIAL: Mum of murdered Tia Sharp 'threatened to punch teacher who intervened in racist attack'

The pair drove off after a passer-by intervened. But they were arrested 12 days later after Ms Selmani gave a picture of Bicknell's licence plate to the police.

The court heard the family had suffered online abuse since the murder of 12-year-old Tia, whose body was found hidden in her grandmother's attic in New Addington in August 2012 after a huge police manhunt.

She had been sexually assaulted and murdered by Bicknell's boyfriend Stuart Hazell.

Sentencing the pair on Wednesday, judge Sonya Woodley QC said: "I accept you have had a difficult time in the last few years, but this kind of behaviour must not take place."

Sharp, of Canterbury Road, Morden, was sentenced to complete 60 hours unpaid work in the next 12 month and ordered to pay £40 compensation.

Bicknell, of Torrington Square, Croydon, was ordered to do 40 hours unpaid work in the next year. Both were told to pay a £60 victim surcharge.

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