A UNIVERSITY student could be kicked off her course after beating up another woman in an argument over domestic abuse.

Nicola Biggins, who is studying nursing at the University of Worcester, left victim Louise Taylor with bruised ribs and other injuries after their fight at a pub in the early hours.

The 36-year-old had to be pulled off her victim inside the Angel Vaults, in Evesham, but claims she was slapped first outside the pub before retaliating.

During last Thursday’s hearing at Worcester Magistrates Court, it was said the defendant had been arguing with the complainant about domestic abuse relating to the latter’s current partner.

Biggins initially entered the Port Street venue at 10pm on July 13 and confronted Ms Taylor and her partner before returning at close to 1am.

The victim “dropped down to the floor” during the attack, said prosecutor Emily Clewer, and later claimed in a statement that she had broken her ribs, however this was contested in court.

Ms Taylor asked for £1,270 in compensation as she had had to take time off work due to her injuries, which also included marks around her eye.

Mark Stanley, defending, said his client had been concerned about Ms Taylor due to “treatment by her partner” which she had apparently previously flagged up to her before the incident.

On her return in the early hours, the two women went outside the pub to “talk about things” said the solicitor, before Biggins was “slapped around the face” and the fight escalated inside the pub.

Mr Stanley said: “Both ladies had had a great deal to drink.”

The court heard that there is CCTV outside, but the pub had said it was unavailable.

Referring to his client, Mr Stanley said she had “not gone there to cause any trouble” but instead was concerned for Ms Taylor’s safety.

He said he didn’t agree with the severity in which the victim had described the fight, describing his client’s actions as more “punching out a couple of times”.

Mr Stanley told magistrates he was further concerned about Ms Taylor’s statement which referred to “broken or fractured” ribs, for him to find out it was actually just bruising.

“It’s a shame we haven’t got the CCTV,” he continued.

Biggins, of Worcester Road, Evesham, has “never been in trouble before” and has just started her second year of a nursing degree, so money is tight, said Mr Stanley.

He suggested giving her a conditional discharge, adding: “I don’t think she is someone who will darken these court doors again.”

The court heard Biggins could face punishment from the medical board, the most severe outcome of which would see her lose her place on her degree course.

Biggins is currently undertaking a 10-week placement in Cheltenham as part of her course and will have another placement elsewhere after Christmas. With bursary degrees being pulled some years ago, Mr Stanley said his client relies on her student loans alone to cover her costs, with her placements taking up four days per week. Chair of the bench Judith Hulland ordered Biggins to pay £250 in compensation to Ms Taylor. She was also given a 12-month community order, including 40 hours of unpaid work. She must also pay a £225 in costs to the court at a rate of £5 a week.