A DISPUTE over an unpaid debt culminated in an “ugly street fight” which had “devastating” effects on the victims’ family, a court heard.

The debtor was left heavily bloodstained from head injuries and has since suffered epileptic seizures, while his father was knocked unconscious and his wife suffered a heart attack as her husband was treated in hospital.

Durham Crown Court was told defendants Corbyn Farn and Reece Leon Marrin, admitted “excessive self-defence” as they claimed they disarmed the two male victims, but then went too far.

The court heard the incident, in Church Road, Murton, at 10.30pm, on December 12, 2017, began with a three-vehicle collision between cars driven by the two victims and a van with Marrin at the wheel and Farn as his front seat passenger.

In the ensuing clash, the 26-year-old man being pursued over the debt was struck over the head with an unknown implement by Farn.

Paul Reid, prosecuting, said the victim handed over a knuckle-duster as he boarded an ambulance.

His father, now 64, who drove to the scene to try to assist his son, was initially carrying a pick-axe handle on getting out of his car after the collision.

But, he either dropped it, or it was taken from him, and used to strike him several times by Farn, while Marrin threw four punches.

The victim suffered multiple head and facial injuries, including a broken nose.

His wife, who arrived to see her husband unconscious and her son heavily bloodstained, later suffered a heart attack and will be on medication for the rest of her life.

Farn, 26, of Princess Road, and 23-year-old Marrin, of Hexham Avenue, Deneside, both Seaham, admitted unlawful wounding and affray.

Jane Waugh, for Farn, said he disarmed the younger victim as he felt under threat, but accepted, “the extent of violence went beyond what was reasonable.”

John Turner, for Marrin, described him as, “a bit part player”, in the incident, with no previous convictions.

Judge James Adkin described the confrontation as, “an ugly street fight”, in which the perpetrators, on their own admission, used, “excessive self-defence”.

But he said it led to serious injuries being inflicted with “devastating” long-term consequences for the victims.

Imposing a 21-month prison sentence on Farn, he made him subject of a five-year restraining order not to contact either victim.

He told Marrin, “it was not your fight”, and passed a 13-month sentence, suspended for two years, with a five-month 8pm to 8am home curfew and 30 rehabilitation activity days.