THE family of a man murdered after a woman sent a sex photo to his love rival says she should have been jailed for longer.

Sarah Bramley, 29, sent a photograph of herself performing oral sex on Michael Lawson to violent and jealous David Saunders, "tipping him over the edge."

The Northern Echo:

Mr Lawson's mother Anne Satterthwaite and Ray Scaife, Mr Lawson's uncle. Picture: North News

She was jailed for four months on Monday after appearing at Teesside Crown Court.

The court was told that Bramley is now pregnant with her third child and is filled with remorse about the outcome of her behaviour on Mr Lawson's family.

But they spoke angrily after the hearing that she is likely to serve just two months in jail, half the term she was sentenced to.

She initially denied encouraging or assisting the commission of one or more offences, those being common assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm or grievous bodily harm.

If she had been convicted of that charge she could have faced life in prison.

But at an earlier hearing the Crown Prosecution Service accepted that despite knowing Saunders was violent and despite the fact she had seen him carry a knife at a music festival, she could not have foreseen the murder.

She she was allowed to plead guilty on the basis that she only incited a common assault, a charge which carries a six month maximum sentence.

After the hearing Mr Lawson's mother Anne Satterthwaite, 61, said: "We feel she should have gone to jail for much longer but we do understand why the Crown Prosecution Service had to do it that way.

"She knew exactly what she was doing that night and the end result was that Michael died.

"I'm also glad that the court recognised she did all that while her sons were in the house at the time. What sort of mother does that? Mothers are supposed to protect their children, not put them at risk."

Her brother Ray Scaife, Mr Lawson's uncle, said: "We're glad she went to jail, it's the only fair sentence, she deserves to be in prison, it's a shame it couldn't be longer.

"She knew she was winding up a violent man and at the very least she knew that Mike was going to get a good hiding."

In December last year, as he sentenced car dealer Saunders, Judge Stephen Ashurst said Bramley's action in sending Saunders a picture of herself performing oral sex on Mr Lawson "tipped him over the edge."

Judge Ashurst rejected Saunders' defence that he did not intend to kill Michael and that he did not carry the kitchen knife to the scene that he used to deliver a single fatal blow to the heart in the early hours of July 1 last year in Geneva Road, Darlington.

During the hearing the court heard that after performing the sex act on Michael and sending the photograph of it to Saunders, Sarah then slapped her lover and ordered him to leave the house.

She is alleged to have texted Saunders saying: "I have just smashed the lad clean in the face because he wouldn't go home. What have I got myself involved with?"

The court was told that she added: "He is outside the house, feel free to smack the c***."

Saunders admitted murder but sought to lower the minimum term he must serve by claiming he did not carry the knife to the scene and did not intend to kill Michael.

But following a two day trial of issue without a jury, Judge Ashurst found against him and jailed him for life with a minimum term of 22 and a half years.

On Monday, as he sentenced Bramley, Judge Ashurst, said: "You are 29 and the mother of two young children and I am told you are expecting another child in February next year.

"It is a worrying feature of this case that the offensive messages and sexual conduct with Michael Lawson and the messages to David Saunders all occurred at a time when your two young boys were in the house and that is an issue I hope you are ashamed of."

Judge Ashurst added: "What you had in mind when you dismissed Michael Lawson from your house and sent those messages and kept in contact with David Saunders only you will know.

"What you have accepted however is that you were encouraging the commission of an offence of common assault.

"Although you did not contemplate that David Saunders would go on to kill Michael Lawson I take the view that it is hard to conceive of a more serious case of commissioning a common assault."

Although the maximum term was six months in jail, he had to reduce the sentence because of Bramley's guilty plea.

Robert Newcombe, for Bramley, of Langdale Road, Darlington, said: "The first thing I am instructed to do is apologise to the court and Michael Lawson's family for the actions that led to his death.

"Miss Bramley is full of remorse and appears before the court today expecting a custodial sentence."

He asked Judge Ashurst to suspend the sentence and said that former law student Bramley, who had a history of "good academic performance", had fallen into substance abuse and alcoholism.