A court heard that a resident at a hospital had amassed savings of £21,000 from her benefits.
Blackburn magistrates heard Alison Louise Knowles (30), had been living at Calderstones Hospital, in Whalley, for three years and was in receipt of Employment Support Allowance, the benefit which replaced incapacity benefit.
Knowles pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of staff at the hospital. She was ordered to pay £300 in compensation to her victim.
Miss Catherine Allan (prosecuting) said Leanne Torz was working at Calderstones and trying to deal with an incident when Knowles became involved.
“She suddenly punched the member of staff to her cheek and then grabbed her hair with both hands,” said Miss Allan. “As suddenly as she launched the attack she let go and sat down as if nothing had happened.”
Mr Richard Prew (defending) said his client had been living at the hospital for three years and had built up her savings from ESA payments.
She has written a letter of apology and also told the police she had baked a cake for the victim.