A woman told a stranger in a supermarket that she hoped her two-year-old son “died a long and painful death”.

Virginia Mary Bailey, of Bentswood Road, Haywards Heath, made the disgraceful comments to Samantha Pyke and her son in Iceland.

A judge has given the 49-year-old a deferred sentence after she pleaded guilty to using abusive words or behaviour.

She also admitted a public order offence because of unruly behaviour in the supermarket.

Sitting at Brighton Magistrates’ Court, District Judge Gary Lucie said: “This was a particularly horrible offence. She says to the mother: ‘I hope your son dies a long and painful death’. And the complainant says, ‘Excuse me?’ and she repeats it while in the presence of the two–year-old.”

Bailey had also been accused of common assault after allegedly striking the child with her walking frame. However, this charge was dropped after a witness failed to appear at court.

The incident happened in June at the store in Haywards Heath.

Adrian Dagger, defending, said Bailey had mental health problems and suffered from emotionally unstable personality disorder.

He said: “If she finds herself in a situation where she is under stress she gets frustrated and she behaves like a two or three-year-old having a tantrum and it flares up and goes down again.

“She then regrets her behaviour but she finds it very, very difficult to control.”

Judge Lucie deferred sentencing for three months.

He said: “What you said to this lady in the presence of her child and other people was a disgrace.

“If you manage to stay out of trouble and comply with your mental health treatment, I won’t send you to prison.

“This [deferred sentence] gives me a bit of discretion.”