A MAN took exception to two unwanted “first foots” at his home early on New Year’s Day.

Michael John Cronin, 42, “completely lost his temper” when he returned to his home from visiting a neighbour to find two women apparently confronting a female family friend.

Durham Crown Court heard that he was under the impression the pair, a mother and daughter. were attacking the other woman.

Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting, said In the outbreak of violence that followed, Cronin kicked and stamped on both women, to the point where each briefly lost consciousness.

The commotion at the flat, in Stanley, was reported to police at 3.40am on January 1, amid fears that one of the victims may be seriously injured.

Miss Lamballe said when officers arrived they found the flat, at Ladysmith Court, locked and so had to force entry.

Both injured women were located and were taken to hospital for treatment, shortly after 4am.

Miss Lamballe said one of the women, the mother, suffered a bruised and swollen forehead, and had an x-ray for a potential fracture to a nasal bone.

Her daughter suffered a wound to the mouth, tenderness to her jaw and abrasions to the chin.

She told police she “blacked out” and came around to see her mother on the floor.

Her mother said when she regained consciousness she was unaware what had taken place.

Cronin was arrested and mostly made no comment, although he claimed it was self-defence.

He denied two counts of assault causing actual bodily harm.

But, on the day of his scheduled trial he changed his pleas and admitted both counts.

The case was sent to the crown court for sentence as Cronin’s 23 convictions on his record include offences of violence.

Paul Cross, for Cronin, said most of those offences were committed in the defendant’s younger days, although two more recent domestic-type attacks committed while in drink.

He added that the two victims in this case turned up uninvited.

Judge James Adkin described it as, “a display of explosive violence” by Cronin, while drunk.

“Fortunately, there were no really serious injuries, but both women were rendered into a rather pitiful state.

“Both were sustained assaults and it seems to me an immediate custodial sentence must follow.”

Imposing a total 21-month prison sentence, he made Cronin subject of ten-year restraining orders prohibiting him from contacting or approaching either victim.