A father, assisted in the latter stages by his son, carried out what was described in court as a “revenge” beating of his daughter’s former partner.

Unknown to defendants Brian Wright and his son Simon, the victim was visiting his “ex’s” home, by prior consent, to collect his belongings after their separation.

Durham Crown Court was told that the arrangement was for him to collect them from a shed at her home in Crook, in her absence, at about 7pm on May 23, last year.

But neighbours, unaware of that agreement, alerted Wright senior of his presence at his daughter’s home.

Wright drove over at speed to the house to confront his daughter’s former partner and a friend of his, who had accompanied him to the house.

Ellen Wright, prosecuting, said as he was collecting his belongings from the shed, the former partner could hear a car “gunning” up the street in the direction of the house.

Wright approached him on a path holding a bat which he used to strike him on the leg.

Miss Wright said the victim’s friend approached, on seeing what happened, and the next thing he could recall was being on the ground disorientated, feeling pain to his face, which was bleeding.

Wright then turned his attention back onto his daughter’s ex-partner, striking him over his body with the bat, and then using his fists.

By this stage Wright’s son Simon came onto the scene, jumping up and down, shouting, asking the victim if he wanted “more”.

Miss Wright said although it was clear that the victim had enough, as he tried to go back to his friend’s car, Wright junior joined in the attack, repeatedly punching his sister’s “ex”.

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The incident, observed by neighbours, was estimated to have lasted up to five minutes and came to an end as the victim managed to get back to the car, which Wright threatened to damage.

Both of the attack victims received injuries, with the ex-partner sustaining a lump to the back of his head, bruising and swollen cheek, leaving him feeling dizziness and suffering headaches.

His friend was left with a split lip which required 30 stitches and may be left with permanent scarring.

He also suffered with headaches and dizziness.

Brian Wright, 52, of Briar Gardens, Crook, admitted wounding with intent and affray, while his 29-year-old son, of the same address, also admitted affray.

Michele Turner, for Brian Wright, said he was, “very much the patriarch” of the family and was of previous good character.

“It’s suggested this was an act of revenge, but he did say he went around in response to a phone call from neighbours of his daughter, as he believed his daughter was in genuine peril.

“He accepts emotion and anger took over at that time.

“It’s a man who feels he was protecting his family, but it does not excuse or condone what took place.”

The court heard that the long-time local boxing coach has lost his coachinglicence to coach as a result of the incident.

Katie Spence, for Simon Wright, said: “He tells me that he’s sorry for his actions and feels that the situation could have been handled better.

“He acted before he thought.”

Judge Sarah Mallett said, having read probation background report on the pair: “There’s still a lingering element of: ‘He deserved it’.

“It was a fairly prolonged period of violence aggravated by the fact it was in broad daylight, in view of other people.”

She told Brian Wright that she did not think the people who wrote character references to the court on his behalf, who see him as something of a role model, “would not recognised the person behaving in the way you did.”

Judge Mallett imposed a three-year prison sentence on Brian Wright, but she suspended his son’s 10-month prison sentence for two years, telling him he would have to step in to support the family in the absence of his father.

Simon Wright must also complete 200-hours’ unpaid work and attend up to 40 probation-run rehabilitation activity days.

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