A judge imposed suspended prison sentences on a man and a woman who assaulted a couple in Brighton after an online row ended in a crowbar attack.
Charlie Ann Jeffrey, also known as Charley Jeffrey, 34, of Dawlish Close, Brighton, and Ryan Ridgway, 38, of Meeching Road, Newhaven, were convicted of assault causing actual bodily harm (ABH).
Both were found guilty of attacking Natalie Cullen, 36, in Auckland Drive, Bevendean, and Michael Cullen, 39, when he came to her defence.
Ridgway was also convicted of having an offensive weapon – a crowbar – in public.
Mr Cullen suffered a broken nose in the attack and both he and his wife were taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, in Brighton.
The dispute started with a spat between the two women over comments on social media and ended when four people turned up wielding weapons in Auckland Drive where the Cullens lived.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) withdrew its case against one of the four people who was arrested after the attack – Declan Cunningham, 21, of The Highway, Brighton.
Cunningham had been charged with assaulting Mr Cullen and having a wheel brace as a weapon in a public place.
And a jury at Chichester Crown Court acquitted another of the four people who were charged – Alan Saunders, 60, of Meeching Road, Newhaven.
He was found not guilty after a five-day trial last month of assaulting Mr Cullen and having a hammer as a weapon in a public place.
But the jury convicted Jeffrey and Ridgway at the same trial and on Friday (11 March) they were sentenced at Brighton Crown Court.
The judge, Miss Recorder Rachel Drake, sentenced Jeffrey to 10 months in prison, suspended for a year, on both counts, to run concurrently.
Jeffrey was also ordered to attend 25 rehabilitation sessions and she was served with a restraining order lasting for five years.
She was ordered to pay a £156 victim surcharge and £100 towards prosecution costs.
Miss Recorder Drake sentenced Ridgway to 12 months in prison, suspended for a year, on both counts of assault, to run concurrently.
He was also given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for a year, to run concurrently, and told to attend 15 rehabilitation sessions and a “thinking skills” programme.
Ridgway was served with a five-year restraining order and ordered to pay a £156 victim surcharge and £100 towards prosecution costs.
The attack happened in August 2018 but the police did not submit a file to the CPS until August 2019.
A CPS lawyer said that a further investigation and more evidence was required and this was completed by police in December 2019.
About 18 months after the attack, the CPS said that it would not be bringing a prosecution but it went ahead after an appeal prompted a review of the decision.