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Gerard Rogerson, prosecuting at Carlisle Crown Court, said the violence erupted in Spencer Street, outside the city’s Conservative Club, just after midnight on August 12.

Samantha Woodhead and her partner Andrew Douglas were holding a joint 30th birthday party.

But through the evening, said Mr Rogerson, Samantha Woodhead was nursing resentment against her mother in law Jacquline Deary because she had accidentally left her name off the party invitation list.

The party itself went well but at around midnight an argument broke out between Samantha Woodhead and Ryan Gibbons, Mrs Deary’s son, with the defendant insulting her mother in law, the court heard.

Another man who was at the party, off duty ambulance driver Michael Dutton, tried to intervene to calm things down.

As the group were emerging from the club, the brothers and their sister began lashing out at their two victims Mr Dutton and Mr Gibbons.

The several minutes of violence that followed was captured by the club’s CCTV cameras, and showed all three defendants repeatedly attacking their victims, at times punching and kicking them.

Mr Rogerson pointed out that while the brothers were kicking and punching Mr Dutton, an eight year old boy who was at the party can be seen in the footage, apparently screaming.

His 17 year old brother is seen attempting to lead the child away from the scene.

Describing what happened after Martin Woodhead knocked over Mr Gibbons with a punch, Mr Rogerson said: “David Woodhead moved round to Mr Gibbons who was lying motionless on the ground and kicked him.”

Jacqueline Deary attempted to act as a peacemaker.

“As Michael Dutton was attempting to get up again, he was kicked in the face by Martin Woodhead, and whilst he was falling, Martin Woodhead took two steps back before kicking Mr Dutton to the face with full force.”

After this, Samantha Woodhead is seen pushing Mrs Deary and then dragging her by her hair to the ground.

As Ryan Gibbons lay motionless in the road, David Woodhead continued his attack, delivering nine punches and one kick to his victim, leaving his victim dazed an bloodied on the pavement, said Mr Rogerson.

It was at this stage that the eight year old boy can be seen in the background, his horrified gaze fixed on the violence and his hands held to his head in an expression of utter distress.

The disorder ended with more violence from the brothers, and with Samantha Woodhead again attacking Mr Gibbons.

She knocked him over and then as he lay on the ground kicked him with

“He still experiences numbness in parts of his head,” said the lawyer. “And he has been left with a two to three inch scar onf his face around his eye.”

Ryan Gibbons has since found it hard to sleep and suffered from recurring nightmares about the attack nightmares so serious that he has now sought medical advice.

Greg Hoare, for Martin Woodhead, of Chatsworth Square, Carlisle, said that his client had winced with embarrassment when he watched the CCTV of the attack that night.

“He’s appalled by his own behaviour,” said the barrister. Seven of Martin Woodhead’s previous recorded offences were for violence. These included a previous conviction for wounding with intent in 2007 when he glassed a man in a Carlisle pub.

Mark Shepherd, for David Woodhead, of Parkside, Belah, said the defendant felt disgusted by what he had done that day.

“If he could turn the clock back he would,” the lawyer told the court.

The lawyer added that his client, who also has previous convictions for violence: “He’s trying to be the best role model he can for his children but he acknowledges that in this instance he was the very worst.”

Wayne Jackson, for Samantha Woodhead, also of Parkside, Belah, said the time she had spent in jail on remand was the worst experience of her life.

“She’s acutely embarrassed and ashamed,” he said.

Passing sentence, The Honourable Mr Justice Mark Turner said:

“Anyone who saw the CCTV footage of what went on that night with these offences can not fail but to be shocked. It’s no exaggeration to say that this was a prolonged display of unrestrained violence.
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