AN irate woman launched an attack on a sports store assistant when she was refused an exchange on a pair of trainers, a court heard.

Ex-heroin addict Shelley Conway rained repeated blows on Joshua Pate, 21, in front of shoppers after rushing around the counter in JD Sports in Burnley.

She had earlier threatened, “I’m going to punch something or someone”.

The town's magistrates heard she has 79 convictions but none for violence.

Conway, 33, of Brush Street, Burnley, admitted assault by beating on July 15 and failing to surrender. She was sentenced to a community order with a four-week, 8pm to 7am curfew plus £60 compensation and £85 costs.

Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said just before 3.30pm, Conway went into the store, wanting a refund for a pair of training shoes bought the day before.

She was told she could not have one as the receipt was inappropriate.

She shouted at staff and 10 minutes later was still asking for a refund.

Conway went around the other side of the counter and hit Mr Pate four times.

She then hurled the shoes at another staff member, picked them up and left.

Conway was taken into custody, owned up but said she could not remember how many times she had struck the victim.

Miss Akhtar said the victim was left with red marks on his neck.

She said: “It's clearly been upsetting for him and there would have been other people shopping at the time who would have witnessed this incident and it would have been distressing for them as well.” Mr Mark Williams, defending, said Conway suffers epilepsy and is also on methadone.

The trainers did not fit properly and she decided to go back and exchange them for a larger size.

He added: “She didn't have the receipt. She wasn't asking for a refund. She was asking to exchange them for the next size up.

“She got worked up about it and in her own words, lost her temper, in a fairly spectacular fashion, it's fair to say.”