Woman attacked pal with claw hammer - because he disturbed her phone call to mother

Marie Veitch attacked her friend with a claw hammer after he disturbed her phone call to her mother
Marie Veitch attacked her friend with a claw hammer after he disturbed her phone call to her mother

A woman hit her pal on the head with a claw hammer after he disturbed a telephone call she was making.

Marie Veitch, 47, caused a wound to the retired Peter Wilcox's scalp after he started talking while she was on the phone to her mother.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Mr Wilcox said he was "shocked someone he thought of as a friend for over a year would commit this attack" and fears he could have died.

Prosecutor Peter Schofield told the court the former friends had been at a pal's house in Houghton last November, where they had been drinking and watching a film.

Mr Schofield said: "Miss Veitch began to phone her mother, about something to do about mining, that had been the topic of discussion.

"Mr Wilcox, it seems, may have been talking while she was on the phone, for which he apologised.

"Miss Veitch got up from the living room, where she had been sitting, went to the kitchen and came back with a claw hammer, which was owned by the householder, and promptly hit Mr Wilcox on the head with it.

"That caused an immediate wound to the upper left portion of his head."

The court heard Mr Wilcox was examined at Sunderland Royal Hospital for a minor head injury laceration.

Medics found no suggestion of any underlying injury or fracture.

The court heard Mr Wilcox said he now suffers migraines, which are treated with medication, and has flashbacks to the attack.

Mr Schofield added: "He is concerned about the fact he could have died as a result of a blow to the head in this way."

Judge Amanda Rippon sentenced Veitch to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with programme requirements and a two month night time curfew.

The judge told her: "You made a telephone call to your mother. That telephone call was interrupted by Mr Wilcox talking.

"In your drunken state, it seemed to have irritated you, above and beyond."

The judge said she accepted Veitch was "entirely remorseful and regretful" for what she did.

Judge Rippon added: "It is entirely out of character for you and you are a carer for an elderly dependent relative, your 91-year-old mother. "

Veitch, of Avenue Vivien, Fence Houses, had pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding.

Jamie Adams, defending, said Veitch has lived with her mother for most of her life and is "remorseful" for her behaviour that day.