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Nightmare couple who attacked their neighbours with ammonia and a kitchen knife are jailed

Nightmare couple who attacked their neighbours with ammonia and a kitchen knife are jailed

A nightmare couple who attacked their neighbors with ammonia and a kitchen knife, sprayed ‘Scumbag’ on their car and smashed the windshield with a brick have been brought to justice.

Amanda Timney, 37, and Gary Hill, 41, caused damage to their neighbors’ cars in Easington Colliery, County Durham shortly before a clash between them on October 28 last year.

During the disturbance, Timney armed herself with a large knife before lunging at her neighbor and hitting her on the head, causing a laceration. Hill armed himself with a bottle of household ammonia and splashed it in the male neighbor’s face and eyes.

Timney, of Barwick Street, Easington Colliery, and Hill, of North View, Sherburn, appeared before the Durham Crown Court on Wednesday to be convicted of criminal damages.

Timney, who appeared through a link from HMP Low Newton, was also convicted of possession of a knife and wounding, while Hill, who appeared through a link from HMP Durham, was also convicted of Section 47 assault.

Judge Ray Singh, who convicted the couple, issued a five-year restraining order barring them from contacting the complainants. Timney was sentenced to 19 months in prison and Hill 14 months.

Amanda Timney, 37, (pictured) and Gary Hill, 41, caused damage to their neighbors' cars in Easington Colliery, County Durham shortly before a clash between them on October 28 last year

Amanda Timney, 37, (pictured) and Gary Hill, 41, caused damage to their neighbors’ cars in Easington Colliery, County Durham shortly before a clash between them on October 28 last year

Prosecutor Stephen Littlewood said both defendants were in a relationship and were neighbors of the two complainants, who lived across the street.

He said: “There was considerable animosity between the two over money that would have been owed on a petrol payment.” Mr Littlewood told the court that the word ‘scumbag’ had also been sprayed on a vehicle outside their property.

The court heard that both complainants were at home with their young child when they heard a commotion in the street. The suspects stood outside screaming, while Timney was armed with a brick in her hand.

She then smashed the windshield of the woman’s Ford Focus. Hill also smashed the side window of the man’s Skoda Octavia.

Mr Littlewood, said: ‘Once the complainants realized what was going on, they ran outside with their child and involved other people in the street.’

Timney, who had armed himself with a kitchen knife, hit it and hit the neighbor in the head, causing a laceration that later required a hospital staple.

After sustaining the injury, the woman “reacted,” causing Timney to fall to the floor. The knife was then wrestled from her as others began to attack her.

Judge Ray Singh, who convicted the couple, issued a five-year restraining order barring them from contacting the complainants.  Timney was jailed for 19 months and Hill (pictured) 14 months

Judge Ray Singh, who convicted the couple, issued a five-year restraining order barring them from contacting the complainants. Timney was jailed for 19 months and Hill (pictured) 14 months

While this was going on, the male neighbor had armed himself with a golf club and chased Hill back to his house before smashing a window with it. But while he was at his house, Hill armed himself with a bottle of household ammonia and turned back.

Mr Littlewood said: ‘He splashed the man’s face and eyes with the ammonia and went to the hospital where the area was washed.’ In a victim statement, the male neighbor said the ammonia attack could have been “life-changing,” but thankfully no long-term damage was done.

The court was told that Timney had 22 previous convictions for 45 offenses, including battery in 2021, and was serving a community warrant for that offense at the time. Hill had 78 previous convictions for 166 offenses, including a racially aggravated offense in 2000. He was also serving a community warrant for burglary at the time.

Michael Cahill, who defended Hill, said: ‘The complainant armed himself with a golf club as the accused ran away from the incident. A melee erupted at the doorway of the suspect’s property. The context in which he used the ammonia was when he was confronted by someone armed with a golf club, there is an element of excessive self-defense in it.”

He said Hill was also “motivated to live a drug-free lifestyle” and had since moved out of Easington.

Mr Cahill added: ‘He understands that the way he behaved was unacceptable.’

Mark Styles, who defended Timney, said she was “terrified by what happened.”

He said: ‘She was in a very frightened condition and armed herself only in self-defense. She was knocked to the ground and attacked by three people and suffered facial injuries.’

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