A woman who robbed her own father of £40 has narrowly avoided an immediate prison sentence after he made an impassioned plea to keep her out of jail.

Sarah Barber attacked her father when he refused to hand over £20 knocking him to the ground and leaving him with a cut to his arm.

The 36-year-old told him he would not have been injured if he had just done as she asked, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said Barber and her co-accused, Steven Seaman, then returned to her father’s home, stole his £7,000 Ford Fiesta car before smashing it up and causing it to be written-off.

Mr Dryden said the defendant’s father had written a letter to the court imploring the judge not to send her to prison as he had ‘got his daughter back’ as a result of her time in custody on remand.

Recorder Aisha Wadoodi told Barber that it was her father’s forgiveness that had persuaded her to suspend the sentence following the ‘despicable’ attack.

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She said: “Despite what you put him through, he is still willing to give you that chance because he is your father.

“You have been saved by your father today, please bear that in mind.”

The judge had heard how Barber’s personality changed significantly after she was savagely beaten by a former partner and left with a significant number of injuries.

Her attacker, Gary Clark, was locked up for 11 years in 2018 due to the brutal nature and ferocity of the attack.

Kelleigh Lodge, representing Barber, said the assault had resulted in her client turning to drugs to cope with the trauma but had taken advantage of mental health services since she was remanded in custody following the attack on May 7.

Barber, of no fixed abode, was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years and ordered to attend 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a Thinking Skills programme.

Seaman, of Lime Road, Normanby, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to theft of a motor vehicle.

The 37-year-old was given a nine-month sentence suspended for two years and ordered to attend a Thinking Skills programme and take part in drug rehabilitation requirement programme to deal with his crack cocaine addiction.

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