A VIOLENT granny is starting a seven-year prison sentence for smashing a policeman in the face with his baton and breaking his jaw.

Anne McQuilter was involved in a late-night large-scale drunken disturbance which two plain-clothed officers volunteered to help calm down.

During struggles with the crowd in Redcar town centre, Pc Steven McCrone, 33, dropped his extendable baton, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Mother-of-two McQuilter, 41, picked up the asp, whacked the under-siege officer in the face and fractured his jaw, said prosecutor Sam Andrews yesterday.

Paul Abrahams, mitigating, said blonde-haired McQuilter was sorry, but in a probation reports she blames Pc McCrone, saying: "It was his own fault."

The judge, Recorder David Dixon, told her: "The report makes it clear you think you had a right to do what you did. You did not. He was doing his job."

McQuilter, of Castle Road, Redcar, was found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on October 12, 2012, after a trial in August.

Three others - David Brotton, 32, his partner, Samantha Cooper, 25, and Paul Smith, 32, pleaded guilty to other charges arising from the disorder.

The court heard that Brotton and Cooper, of Lime Road, Redcar, had been having a christening for their child, and ended up in the town's The Stockton pub.

Smith, of West Dyke Road, Redcar, was said to have started the trouble when he made lewd comments to a woman - what he described as "flirting banter".

Drinkers left the pub and fighting erupted outside, which included Smith being grabbed by the throat and pinned against a wall by McQuilter's daughter.

When the officers arrived on the scene, Brotton repeatedly charged at Pc McCrone "like an animal", said the judge, and struggled as he was detained.

His lawyer, Zoe Passfield, said Brotton, who admitted a charge of affray, suffered a serious head injury which needed stitches in hospital.

Paul Abrahams, for Cooper, who pleaded guilty to using threatening or abusive words or behaviour, said she was involved on the fringes of the trouble.

Andrew Turton, for Smith, who also admitted using threatening or abusive words or behaviour, told the court that he was sorry for being the "catalyst".

Mr Abrahams, who also represented McQuilter, who has two grandchildren, said prison would cause sever problems for her family, who describe her as their "lynchpin".

He told the court: "Her family are now the victims of her actions. They will be punished as a consequence and it is that, really, that is going to hurt her more."

The court heard how the grandmother has convictions for affray in 2004, and violence in 2009, and cautions for threatening behaviour in 2000, and assault in 2008.

Mr Recorder Dixon told her: "There seems to be two sides to you. I have seen plenty of references which describe you in glowing terms, matriarchal to the family, someone you can go to with any problem, and someone who works extremely hard. But when in drink, someone who loses their temper and someone who can behave in an appalling fashion."

Brotton was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months with a three-month curfew and 180 hours' unpaid work; Cooper was fined £250; and Smith was ordered to do 150 hours' unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order.

Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Dave Smith, said: “This is an example of the violence that officers can be faced with on a day-to-day basis whilst carrying out their duties in protecting the public.

"Anne McQuilter will now have to serve a lengthy prison sentence as a consequence of her violent behaviour after she fractured an officer’s cheekbone by hitting him with a police baton. We hope that the sentence sends out a clear message to those who act without any thought whilst under the influence of alcohol.”