A JUDGE warned that the streets cannot be ruled by the “law of the jungle” as he jailed a father and son over a violent vigilante attack.
Kevin Tiernan, 44, and his sons Craig, 22, and Daniel, 19, “took the law into their own hands” and left Kevin Quarmby with wounds to his head in a bloody street attack in Hetton, following a feud between their two families.
Judge John Evans said police must be called in to deal with complaints in communities and warned that vigilanteism could result in loss of life.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the Tiernan men considered the Quarmbys to be a “total nightmare” and responsible for a lot of trouble and crime in the Hetton area.
When the Tiernans heard one of the Quarmbys was responsible for a break-in at their home, they made a report to the police – and were branded “grasses”.
The simmering situation exploded in serious violence when the Tiernan father and his two sons had a chance meeting with Kevin Quarmby, 30, in the street last July.
Prosecutor Alec Burns said: “The defendants were in their pick-up van.
“First to get out was Craig, who got out of the passenger side and went towards Mr Quarmby, shouting.
“He got a golf club from the vehicle, walked over to Kevin Quarmby and struck him with the club three times to his back and shoulders.
“Kevin Tiernan, the father, got out. He also had a golf club and ran over swinging it.
“The third defendant got out of the van, picked up a golf club and he too struck out with it.”
Mr Quarmby was left with wounds to his hand and head, which were sutured and stapled at hospital. He had bruises on his body.
Judge John Evans said: “This is just lawless behaviour, a family who decided to take the law into their own hands.
“If they think they can just go around with a golf club and sort out things, they are mistaken.
“We cannot have the law of the jungle applied to communities like this, otherwise, ultimately, someone is going to get killed.”
The court heard the Tiernans became a target after the street attack and hold the Quarmby family responsible for an attempted raid on their shed, a smashed window and a paint attack on their van.
Tony Hawks, defending, said: “The reality is that the Quarmbys are a total nightmare as far as causing trouble in the area is concerned.”
Mr Hawks handed in to the court a cutting from the Echo containing a report of Richard Quarmby’s court case, who was jailed for two and a half years for burglary.
He added: “In terms of wanting to have a go at the Quarmbys, there was quite a long queue in the area.
“When anything gets stolen or broken into, it is always assumed, usually rightly, who is responsible for it.”
Kevin Tiernan and his son Craig Tiernan, who runs a successful scrap business, both admitted unlawful wounding and were jailed for six months each.
Daniel Tiernan was given a community order for 12 months with 100 hours’ unpaid work for affray, which he admitted.
The three all live at Coronation Terrace, Hetton, and the court heard prison sentences will hugely affect their work and family lives.