Pegswood woman jailed for vicious hammer attack

A woman who has been given just months to live has been jailed for attacking her neighbour with a hammer over a £20 debt.

By Court reporter
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 1:10 pm
Updated Monday, 18th April 2022, 3:05 pm
Kerry Cummings, who has been jailed for a hammer attack.

Kerry Cummings, who has liver disease, was told in December she had just three months left of her life.

The 41-year-old has outlived the grim prognosis, but has now been given a 14-month jail term for the shocking attack last October.

Cummings used the weapon to hit another woman’s head and knees, left her "bleeding heavily" and frightened she would be killed.

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Newcastle Crown Court heard the neighbour had borrowed £20 from Cummings and was due to pay it back on October 25.

Prosecutor Damian Broadbent told the court when the cash was not repaid on time, Cummings sent a series of texts, warning: "If I have to come down I'm going to have to hurt you.”

Mr Broadbent said Cummings turned up at her neighbour’s house at around 6pm that evening and banged on the door.

He told the court: "The victim apologised and attempted to explain she had fallen asleep.

"As the victim was apologising, the defendant lifted a hammer, to around shoulder height, and hit the victim to the left side of her head.

"The defendant then hit the victim a second time, in the same place."

The court heard the neighbour, who had blood pouring from her head, used her hand to try and deflect the third strike before she was hit again, to the head.

Mr Broadbent said the victim then sat down on her bed, and added: "The defendant again used the hammer to hit her, this time on both of her knees, around five times.”

Afterwards, Cummings took the hammer to a pal's house and told her: "Hide that, it's a murder weapon".

Cummings, of West View, Pegswood, who was on a suspended sentence at the time, admitted unlawful wounding and having an offensive weapon.

Judge Edward Bindloss sentenced her to 14 months behind bars and issued her with a restraining order, to protect the neighbour.

Geoff Knowles, mitigating, said Cummings had a "very distressing history" and added: "Domestic violence has been a feature of this lady's life, almost from the beginning."

He added she had a "low expectation of life expectancy".