A FAMILY moved out of their home after a horror hammer attack by a neighbour after a row over a cigarette.
Stephen McCabe, 25, kicked Lee Rogan’s door off its hinges and launched a brutal assault with the weapon just a week before Christmas last year.
Mr Rogan, 28, suffered a broken arm that needed surgery and had bruising to his head and back.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that despite making a good recovery from his physical injuries, Mr Rogan, his partner Amy Owen, 26, and their two young children have left their home because of what happened.
Mr Rogan spent two months with his arm in plaster.
He told police: “I have been in so much pain and I have had to have an operation to repair the damage he caused. I didn’t deserve what he did to me.”
Because of the attack, the family has left the home as Miss Owen was too frightened to continue living there.
Mr Rogan told police: “We’ve had to move away from Hendon.
“She was so terrified we’ve had to move house.
“She was frightened the person responsible, or his mates, would come back.
“She just didn’t feel safe living there anymore.”
The court heard the trouble started when Mr Rogan went to McCabe’s door in the early hours of the morning asking for a cigarette for Miss Owen and was told he did not have any.
After Mr Rogan went back home empty handed, Miss Owen sent McCabe a text message calling him “greedy git”.
A few hours later, McCabe turned up at the family’s door with another man.
Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court: “The two males kicked the door open and off its hinges.”
Mr Pallister said Mr Rogan was repeatedly hit with the hammer by McCabe before he suddenly stopped the attack and then walked out.
McCabe, of Oxford Street, Pallion, Sunderland, admitted causing grievous bodily harm.
Mr Recorder Anton Lodge sentenced him to 48 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 250 hours’ unpaid work and a £2,000 compensation order.
The judge said the sentence could be suspended because McCabe has spent five months in custody on remand.
He told McCabe: “It was a serious attack on Mr Rogan for which you had no cause or provocation at all.”
Bob Spragg, defending, said McCabe was under enormous pressure at the time because his child was in hospital with a heart condition.
Mr Spragg said: “He accepts he just saw red, lost his temper and went over there.
“He bitterly regrets getting involved in this and is sorry that he did.”