A mother who was assaulted by two fellow parents outside a school is relieved the ordeal is finally over, after her attackers were sentenced last week.
Victim Beth Smart, 34, from Alnwick, was assaulted by Sharon Nyberg and Jolene Angus in a daylight attack.
She was forced to the ground, had clumps of hair pulled out, scratched and hit.
Terrified youngsters looked on as the incident unfolded outside the town’s St Michael’s C of E School in June 2011.
Mrs Smart had just dropped off her children at school when she became involved in a foul-mouthed row with a relative of Nyberg. Mrs Smart was offered refuge in the school, but when she left, Nyberg was waiting for her outside the school gates.
A court heard Nyberg barged another parent holding a toddler out of the way then launched a ferocious attack on Mrs Smart. Angus joined in during the attack.
After the incident, Angus and Carlene Balmbra set up fake Facebook accounts in the names of two witnesses in an effort to scupper the case.
They printed off made-up conversations between the women which appeared to undermine the case and sent them to the Crown Prosecution Service and the school. But their lies were exposed and investigation showed Balmbra had allowed her computer to be used to set up the fake accounts.
Nyberg and Angus admitted affray and Angus and Balmbra admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice.
On Friday, at Newcastle Crown Court, the trio were sentenced. Mum-of-two Nyberg, 43, of Howling Lane, Alnwick, was given a 12-month community order with 60 hours of unpaid work. Mother-of-three Angus, 26, of the town’s Windsor Gardens, was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months with 100 hours of unpaid work.
Mum-of-three Balmbra, 28, of Windsor Gardens, was given a 12-month community order.
Speaking afterwards, Mrs Smart, from Alnwick’s Upper Barresdale, said: “It has been a very stressful time. There has been a lot of pressure on me and all my witnesses. I’m glad it is over. I feel like a ton of bricks has been taken off my shoulders.”
Mrs Smart is mother to two twin boys, Ryan and Jake, three, Thomas, six, and Patrick, 10, and is married to Daniel, 30.
After the attack she was found to have suffered hair loss, scratches to her face and chest, a swollen lip and tenderness to her neck.
The incident left her physically and emotionally scarred.
“I was a bit jumpy for a while. It was the shock of it to be honest. I hadn’t expected it. You don’t think something like this will happen at 9am,” she said.
Despite the incident happening in the June, Mrs Smart said that it wasn’t until the following January that she could get a slight trim of her hair as the area which was ripped out took so long to grow back.
Reflecting on the sentencing, Mrs Smart, who works in Alnwick’s Iceland store, said: “I thought they could go to prison, but I am happy with the outcome. It showed that they can’t get away with it.”
Geoff Knowles, for Nyberg, said she was apologetic, sorry and ashamed while Angus’ barrister said she tried to act as peacemaker when she joined in and had her glasses knocked off and received injuries in the fracas. The court heard Balmbra’s only involvement was allowing her computer and wireless router to be used in the Facebook scam.