TWO sisters who carried out a sustained attack on a 22-year-old woman have been spared jail, writes Neil Bracegirdle.
Tara and Rosie Gardiner appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday to be sentenced for assault.
The court heard that Tara, 23, and younger sister Rosie, 20, had attacked Jade Hughes at Rosie’s house in Second Avenue, Sudbury, after consuming a large amount of alcohol on November 10.
The pair had carried out the joint attack after Tara had pushed Miss Hughes out of the house following “a change in mood” said Naomi Turner, prosecuting.
In a statement read out on behalf of the victim by Judge John Holt, the court heard that Miss Hughes was left outside the house with no shoes and without her bag. She had knocked on the door to ask for them, but was refused and then assaulted.
“Tara came out and started punching her, pulling her hair, scratching and kicking,” he said.
Judge Holt said that Rosie then joined her sister, grabbing a bottle of vodka that had been drunk earlier in the evening and using it as a weapon.
“As a result, a great deal of blood was streaming from Jade’s face,” he said.
Miss Hughes was found in the street by a neighbour, who took her into their home. The sisters then attempted to get her out of the house by pretending to be the police, said Judge Holt.
Philip Fox, in mitigation for Rosie Gardiner, who pleaded not guilty but was found guilty at an earlier trial, said although the assault was “unpleasant” it was on the spur of the moment and involved excess alcohol on all sides.
“It was an isolated incident, which showed a lack of maturity and was out of character,” he said.
Shereen Dyer, in mitigation for Tara Gardiner, of Kings Road, Glemsford, who pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing, said she had no previous convictions for violence, was homeless and involved in an abusive relationship at the time.
Rosie Gardiner was sentenced to a 12-month suspended sentence for two years, 150 hours community work and banned from visiting any pub and clubs within eight miles of Sudbury.
Tara Gardiner was given an eight-month suspended sentence for two years, an 18-month supervision order and banned from pubs and clubs within ten miles of Sudbury.
Both were ordered to pay £250 in compensation.