Mum’s punch put friend in hospital after their children fell out at a sleepover

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A MUM needed surgery after a row at a sleepover erupted in violence.

Vicki O’Brien had been invited to spend the night at 32-year-old Helen Melvin’s home where their young daughters, who were classmates, were playing together.

Newcastle Crown Court heard during the course of the evening in April the children fell out and an argument started between the adults.

This led to O’Brien, 29, lashing out and repeatedly punching her friend, who ended up with a black eye, bruising and a fracture to the base of her thumb that required an operation.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court: “The victim said the defendant seemed to lose her temper, she flipped and began shouting at the victim then assaulted her, punching her three times to the face.”

The court heard after the initial blows Miss Melvin sought sanctuary in her bathroom, but O’Brien followed and continued the violence.

Mr Pallister said: “She punched her three or four times to the face and pulled her to the floor by the hair.”

Miss Melvin ran out of the house and to a neighbour’s home.

She needed surgery to insert a metal wire into the injured thumb and had to wear a cast before having months of physiotherapy.

She said in a statement: “I am absolutely shocked Vicki did this to me.

“I never thought she would do anything like this.

“We were friends, now I’m scared to see her again.”

O’Brien, of Henry Street, Hillside, Houghton, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

She was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision and programme requirements.

Judge Jeremy Freedman told her: “Whatever happened that day and whatever arguments occurred between your daughter and her daughter, between you and Helen Melvin, it did not justify your behaviour.”

Bob Spragg, defending, said there are “two sides” to what happened in the house but it would not be helpful to go into specifics.

Mr Spragg said O’Brien has been a victim of domestic violence and is willing to accept the help offered to her.