Samurai sword attack turns Sunderland party into a bloodbath

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A HOUSE was left a bloodbath after men armed themselves with Samurai swords in a dispute over a debt.

Callum Lough was seen talking about the £25 he was owed by Brian Hancock outside Hancock’s house during the afternoon of April 23, a court heard.

Later that day, Lough and pals Christopher Etheridge and Amanda Smith broke in to the house, in Fence Houses.

Kathryn Dodds, prosecuting at Durham Crown Court, said a panel of the back door was kicked in.

Smith attempted to take a computer screen and a television as payment, with Mr Hancock pushing the items back in to place.

Mr Hancock was punched in the head by Lough, with the victim going on to arm himself with an ornamental sword – one of several on a wall display.

He attacked Etheridge, causing a serious, gaping wound to his hand, later treated with surgery.

Mr Hancock was himself left with a series of severe gashes to his hand when Etheridge retaliated, armed with a sword.

Two of Hancock’s’s friends then entered the mid-terrace house armed with baseball bats and tried to get Lough, Etheride and Smith out.

Lough picked up an air rifle and used it to hit Mr Hancock on the right arm, before they finally left.

Police arrived, after receiving a report of an assault, and found the door had been forced open and saw the swords, air rifle and a smashed fish tank.

They followed a trail of blood to a nearby house and found Smith and Lough cleaning blood off items.

Etheridge was arrested at a petrol station in the area after calls to police saying a man covered in blood was wandering around.

All three defendants admitted affray.

Judge Christopher Prince sentenced the three to an 18-month community order with supervision.

He told the court he was restricted in the punishment he could serve to the three because a judge in Newcastle sentenced Lough for an offence of grievous bodily harm in September without being told about the outstanding affray case.

He told them had that not been the situation, they would have been given custodial terms.

Apprentice Lough, 20, of Cleveland Drive, New Lambton, was also ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation and 100 hours unpaid work.

Etheridge, 31, of Abercorn Road, Farringdon, was ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid work and Smith, 25, of Gill Crescent South, Fence Houses, was given an 8pm to 6am curfew for three months, as she has children.

Both were ordered to pay £250 towards court costs.

The court had heard that Mr Hancock had to pay out £200 to replace the damaged locks and the carpet, which was so bloodstained it could not be cleaned, and lost his £690 bond because of the damage.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham