Guest broke woman’s leg at family barbecue in Sunderland

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A WOMAN was left unable to walk after violence flared at a family barbecue.

Toni Robson suffered a fractured bone in her leg when Steven Butler attacked her and two others at the gathering last May.

The injury resulted in nerve damage which meant she could not walk or use her foot for five days and needed a cast at the back of her knee afterwards.

Mrs Robson’s husband Ronnie suffered a bruise to his back during the violence and guest Kevin Trotter was left with two black eyes, cuts and swelling to his face.

Butler, 32, of Sandringham Road, Sunderland, admitted causing grievous bodily harm, assault and common assault.

Judge Simon Hickey sentenced him to a community order for a year with 150 hours unpaid work and a £75 fine.

The judge told him: “What you did on this occasion was quite disgraceful, at a family barbecue.

“What you did is effectively attack three people on that afternoon before leaving the scene.

“One person suffered significant injuries, an undisplaced fracture to the leg, and nerve damage, which fortunately, recovered within five days.”

Prosecutor Robert Adams told the court the barbecue was being held at Mr and Mrs Robinson’s home in Southwick.

Butler attended the party with his girlfriend Nicola Baker, who is Mrs Robson’s sister.

Mr Adams said: “The gathering was largely family members.

“Everyone was drinking and everyone was having a good time until about 10.30pm.”

The court heard Butler had originally been arguing with his girlfriend and struck Mrs Robson in the face when she intervened.

Mr Adams said: “This caused her to stumble back.

“He tried to hit her again but missed. She sank to her knees.”

The court heard Butler turned his violence on Mr Robson and “repeatedly” punched Mr Trotter in the face before striking another blow at the back of Mrs Robson’s head.

Mr Adams added: “Mrs Robson suffered an undisplaced fracture to her fibula and temporary nerve damage for five days which meant she could not walk or use her foot.

“The nerve damage resolved itself and she needed a cast applied to the back of her left knee.”

Chris Morrison, defending, said Butler and his girlfriend were also hurt when the violence flared and produced photographs of their injuries as proof.

Mr Morrison said: “Here we have a situation which got out of hand.

“Nobody ended up a winner.

“His partner ended up on top of him and unfortunately she took some of the blows intended for him.”