Three raiders burst into woman's home armed with baseball bats and a crow bar
Three raiders who burst into a family home armed with weapons have kept their freedom.
Craig Finnigan, his brother Gary Finnigan and pal Karl Scott forced their way into the house and used baseball bats and a crow bar to strike walls while making threats and causing fear.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the terrifying confrontation happened on March 2 last year, at the home of Craig Finnigan's former partner, following a series of rows.
Prosecutor Michael Bunch told the court the victim, who was at home with her family when the raid took place, was deeply effected by what happened.
Mr Bunch said: "The incident left her feeling threatened and vulnerable, concerned about what might have happened.
"It caused her to lie in bed and worry, with nightmares and flashbacks."
The woman said in her statement: "This has impacted every part of our lives, we are all dealing with this on a daily basis."
All three of the men pleaded guilty to affray.
Miss Recorder Allison Hunter QC sentenced all three men to nine months imprisonment, which was suspended for 18 months, with rehabilitation requirements also put in place.
Craig Finnigan and Scott must also complete 100 hours unpaid work.
The judge told the court: "It is always disappointing when men of results in the loss of good character and in the case of Mr Scott, a slip back to habits you have spent many years trying to overcome.
"This is a very serious affray. It has had an impact.
"It is also very sad when family frictions lead to incidents of violence which case the courts to intervene, which can only ever make matters worse."
Richard Herrmann, defending Craig Finnigan, 40, of Lilywhite Terrace, Easington Lane, who was armed with a baseball bat, said: "It is to his deep and sincere regret it reached boiling point and he roped in his brother and his friend to try and put an end to it in their own, highly inappropriate and regrettable, way."
Mr Herrmann said Finnigan, who has no previous convictions, has positive character references from his personal and working life and has caused no further trouble in the 18 months since the offence.
Barry Robson, defending Gary Finnigan, 42, of Elemore Lane, Easington Lane, who was also armed with a baseball bat, told the court: "He got swept up in events."
Mr Robson said Finnigan has never been in trouble before and has also kept out of trouble since.
Liam O'Brien, defending Scott, of Neil Street, Easington Lane, who was armed with the crow bar, said the 44-year-old has previous convictions but has been out of trouble for years and has a partner, house and job.
Mr O'Brien said Scott's family would suffer if he went to prison and added: "Worrying about them is what will prevent him from any repetition of thebehaviour."