A MAN and woman involved in “an ugly incident” at the home of a sufferer of terminal illness have both been jailed for two years.

Leanne Chilton and Shaun O’Kane took part in violence at the address in Sacriston, County Durham, in the early hours of Thursday December 16, last year.

Teesside Crown Court was told that Chilton and another woman initially turned up at the house, being abusive and banging on the window, at 3am.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said awoken by the disturbance, a man staying at the house to look after his terminally ill father opened the back door, telling them to go away.

Chilton and the other woman managed to prise the door open further enabling them to gain access, before assaulting the man, asking where, “the drugs” were.

Mr Dryden said O’Kane then turned up, supposedly to try to quell the violence, but he became involved, punching the man at least five times about the head and body, causing injuries.

The melee moved into another room, where a teenage girl also staying at the house had been sleeping, and she, too, was attacked by Chilton.

On departing, one of the unwanted visitors also helped themselves to strong pain killing medication.

Mr Dryden said a few hours later, when O’Kane was arrested, he was so intoxicated, under the influence of the stolen medication, he had to be taken to hospital for treatment.

Appearing at a plea hearing at Durham Crown Court, in January, O’Kane, and Chilton both made denials to initial charges over the violence.

But on the day of their scheduled trial, earlier this week, with a charge of affray added against each, they made admissions to the new count.

Thirty-five-year-old O’Kane, of Joicey Gardens, Stanley, also admitted handling the stolen pain killing medication, while Chilton, formerly of Chester-le-Street, also admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, relating to the attack on the teenage girl.

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Liam O’Brien, for O’Kane, said having served a 48-month sentence, for assault, for which his licence period ended last November, his client had intended to try to stay on the straight and narrow, until the events of December 16, last year.

“He managed to stay offence-free for quite some time, for someone with his record, and he’s disappointed in himself at the position he now finds himself, back at square one.”

Mr O’Brien said while in custody O’Kane feels he has not been able to properly grieve family tragedies that have taken place in recent months.

Shada Mellor, for Chilton, said she was under the influence of “illicit substances” on the night on the incident, when events, “escalated, quickly getting out of control”.

But she said the defendant feels that she has benefitted from her time on remand in custody, taking educational and vocational courses, and added, “for the first time in a long time she is free of illicit drugs.”

Imposing 24-month prison sentences on both, Judge Chris Smith said it was, “an unhappy set of circumstances”, and “whatever their initial motives”, it turned into, “an ugly incident with sustained violence.”

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