A woman used a metal crutch as a weapon in an astonishing attack on her ex-partner’s new girlfriend and mother-in-law.
Stacey Lane fetched the hospital walking aid from her car and whacked her love rival Shelly Kerr across the back with it.
As Shelly’s mum Paula Kerr tried to defend her daughter, her arm was broken by another blow from the crutch.
And when Shelly and Paula tried to drive away, Lane continued her attack, bashing the front of the car with the crutch, the court heard.
The two women came to blows days before Ms Kerr was set to marry Lane’s former partner, Michael Lyon, the Liverpool Echo reported.
Liverpool Crown Court heard 30-year-old Lane and Mr Lyon had two children, a boy and a girl, before their relationship broke down.
David Birrell, prosecuting, said Mr Lyon later started seeing Shelly Kerr and they were set to marry in October 2019.
The altercation took place around 7.30pm on October 8 that year, after Shelly and Paula Kerr dropped off Lane’s children at her home in Frankby Road, Newton, West Kirby.
Mr Birrell said Shelly Kerr recalled Lane “shouting aggressively” before Lane approached her.
He said: “Because the defendant moved towards her, she raised her right hand in a blocking motion and the e-cigarette she was holding hit the defendant in the forehead.”
Mr Birrell said Lane headed to her car and said something along the lines of “f****** watch this” and “happy f****** wedding week”.
He said Lane “retrieved a metal hospital crutch” from her car and then started “swinging” it at Shelly Kerr.
Mr Birrell said: “Shelly Kerr was backing away in fear. The defendant struck her – the blow was across the back with the crutch.
“The defendant pulled the crutch back to hit her again, holding it with both hands and aiming for her head.”
The court heard at that point Paula Kerr intervened and shouted at Shelly Kerr to get back into their Audi.
Mr Birrell said: “As the defendant struck a second blow with the crutch, Paula Kerr raised her arm to protect her daughter from that strike.
“The blow hit her arm and Paula Kerr immediately felt pain.
“She shouted ‘you’ve broken my arm!’ and it later turned out she was right.”
Mr Birrell said Shelly and Paula Kerr got back in their car, but as they drove off Lane started hitting the front of the Audi with the crutch.
Both parties called the police and Paula Kerr went to Southport hospital, where an X-ray revealed her styloid bone – where the forearm meets the wrist – was broken, meaning her arm had to be put in a plaster.
It’s important to know what’s going on and what is being done about it by police and the criminal justice system.
You can get the very latest crime news as well as information on court cases in our BirminghamLive daily newsletter.
How do I sign up?
Once you’re there, put your email address where it says at the top, then tick the Birmingham Daily News Updates box. There are other newsletters available if you want them as well.
When you’ve made your choice, hit Save Changes button at the bottom.
Photos showed bruises to Shelly Kerr’s back and dents and paintwork damage to her Audi, which cost £1,800 to repair.
Mr Birrell said: “The defendant sent abusive texts to Shelly Kerr just before 8pm… the messages included threats to ruin the wedding.”
Lane was originally charged with assaulting Paula Kerr causing her actual bodily harm, assaulting Shelly Kerr, causing criminal damage to the Audi, possessing an offensive weapon – the crutch – in public, and malicious communications.
However, she pleaded guilty ahead of a trial to a charge of affray on a basis of plea accepted by the prosecution, who dropped the other allegations.
Mr Birrell said she had one previous conviction for criminal damage, which was “perhaps relevant”, as it related to a car belonging to Mr Lyon.
Jamie Baxter, defending, said the prosecution now accepted Ms Kerr hit Lane first, who “retaliated”.
He said: “She began in self-defence, or in fear of violence, not amounting to a defence of course, accepted by her plea.”
Mr Baxter said Lane had “complete justification” for having the crutch because she suffered from the condition fibromyalgia.
He said: “Her actions were in retaliation, albeit unlawful and excessive retaliation, in the circumstances.”
The lawyer said Lane was a single mum who works 30 hours a week and jailing her would have a “significant harmful impact” on her two children.
Mr Baxter said Lane was now on “good speaking terms” with Mr Lyon, they were managing child contact “without the need of the family court” and there was no longer any desire for Lane and Ms Kerr to speak to each other.
Judge Anil Murray said he would treat Lane as having no relevant previous convictions.
He said she pleaded guilty to affray on the basis she reacted or retaliated to being hit first, adding: “This was a family dispute and you were reacting and indeed overreacted by hitting the complainants with a crutch.”
The judge said there was “serious harm” caused to Paula Kerr because her arm was broken and “the crutch was clearly used as a weapon”, but Lane acted “in retaliation and also fear”.
He said it happened two years ago, Lane had not been in trouble since, and in a pre-sentence report she expressed remorse.
Judge Murray said: “You’re horrified that you hurt the complainant.”
He added: “You’re the primary carer for two children and in work. You have some mental health issues, you’re said to be a low risk of reoffending and causing serious harm, and you have no previous poor compliance with supervision.”
The judge said: “I accept you’ve got strong personal mitigation, that there would be an impact on others, that you’re not a risk to others, and you’ve got a prospect of rehabilitation.”
He handed Lane nine months in jail, suspended for 18 months, with 75 hours of unpaid work.
The judge made a three-year restraining order to protect Shelly and Paula Kerr.
We send out daily court and crime updates straight to our email inbox – sign up for them here.