Couple avoid jail after horrendous claw hammer attack on man

Couple avoid jail after horrendous claw hammer attack on man who had objected when their dog bit him

  • Paul Sutton was bitten by an unleashed dog on walk with his partner and pet pug
  • He took the dog by its lead, causing owner Chantelle Bennett, 30, to shout at him
  • Bennett tried to hit his partner Louise with a glass bottle, before Rebecca Tantrum, 28, attacked Mr Sutton with a claw hammer on the street in Newport
  • Both admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Cardiff Crown Court
  • Bennett and Tantrum received 10 and 12-month sentences suspended for a year

Two woman narrowly avoided prison after they were caught on camera attacking a man with a hammer and a glass bottle.

Rebecca Tantrum, 28, and her partner Chantelle Bennett, 30, launched a ‘disgraceful’ attack on Paul Sutton in Newport city centre in broad daylight.

Prosecutor Matthew Roberts told Cardiff Crown Court that the pair set upon him after an argument over his dog and theirs. 

Mr Sutton had been out for an evening stroll with his partner Louise Elliott and their pet pug, when the defendants’ much larger dog bit Mr Sutton on the arm and attempted to get to his pug.

Two woman narrowly avoided prison after they were caught on camera attacking a man with a hammer and a glass bottle in Newport city centre

But when he tried to lead the dog away by its chain, it caused Bennett to shout at him.

Mr Roberts said: ‘Chantelle Bennett was shouting at Mr Sutton “Let go of my dog”. She was screaming at him. 

‘The defendant approached with a bottle in her hand and she was trying to hit his partner with it. Mr Sutton pushed her to the back of the neck and to the floor.’

Shocking video of the incident then shows Tantrum leave the nearby home she shares with her co-defendant – armed with a wooden-handled claw hammer – and attack Mr Sutton with it until the police arrived. 

Mr Sutton had been out for an evening stroll with his partner Louise Elliott (right, in pink) and their pet pug, when the defendants’ (left, together) much larger dog bit Mr Sutton on the arm and attempted to get to his pug

The pair both admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Tantrum also admitted possessing an offensive weapon and possessing a controlled Class B drug

Mr Roberts said: ‘She grabbed him by the arm and Bennett gave words of encouragement, saying: “Go on whack him”, while Tantrum said: “I’m going to f****** kill him”. 

Tantrum is seen hitting Mr Sutton to the body with the hammer and Bennett throwing punches before they all fall to the pavement. 

The police arrived and wrongly arrested Mr Sutton, but after seeing CCTV footage of the incident on July 5 last year they arrested Tantrum and Bennett.

The pair both admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Tantrum also admitted possessing an offensive weapon and possessing a controlled Class B drug.

The court heard the women, both of Commercial Street, Newport, ‘regretted’ the attack which left Mr Sutton with minor injuries and bruising. 

Shocking video of the incident then shows Tantrum leave the nearby home she shares with her co-defendant – armed with a wooden-handled claw hammer – and attack Mr Sutton with it until the police arrived

Rosamund Rutter, representing Tantrum, said her client was told by Bennett she had been assaulted by a man who had taken hold of their dog and she gone to ‘deal’ with the matter.

She added: ‘It was totally unacceptable and she does accept that and she is ashamed of her actions. She is described as showing remorse.’

Jeffrey Jones, for Bennett, said his client was ‘manhandled’ to the ground by Mr Sutton but said she regrets what she had done and should not have got involved. 

Judge Jeremy Jenkins said both women deserved to go to jail but because of a delay in the case coming to court he suspended their sentences.

He said: ‘I hope the images from the CCTV stick with you and you can see the disgraceful way you presented yourselves.

‘It was a disgraceful fight and a very violent confrontation and involved a bottle and a hammer used by you to inflict injury on Mr Sutton.

‘I hope you can both reflect on what you were doing and how you both behaved in the middle of Newport on that evening.’ 

Tantrum was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 12 months and Bennett was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment suspended for 12 months.

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