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Sisters avoid immediate jail terms for Colchester assault on two women

Ipswich Crown Court  Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Two sisters have been handed suspended prison sentences for assaulting two other women on a night out in Colchester.

Jade and Toni Lewis were both convicted of ABH following a trial at Ipswich Crown Court last week.

The sisters returned to face sentencing on Wednesday, when both were given one-year terms, suspended for the next 18 months.

A jury previously heard how Jade Lewis, 26, of Clarendon Way, and Toni Lewis, 22, of Tippett Close, assaulted Lauren Ettrich and Lois Beckett last August.

The court heard that Jade Lewis was in a relationship with Miss Beckett’s ex-partner at the time.

Miss Ettrich suffered a lump on her forehead after being attacked by the sisters near Hudson’s Bar, while Miss Beckett was covered in blood after being assaulted by the pair in the toilets of the bar.

Toni Lewis claimed she threw a preemptive punch, thinking Miss Ettrich was going to assault her sister, and that she punched Miss Beckett in the face after seeing her approach with her hands out.

Jade Lewis said she punched Miss Ettrich in self-defence and punched Miss Beckett in the stomach to get her off her sister.

Emma Nash, representing Toni Lewis, said she had experienced a difficult upbringing but had no previous criminal convictions.

She and her mother had been moved between Essex refuges as a result of domestic abuse, before moving to a property with panic alarms, said Miss Nash.

She described Toni Lewis as “very much the party providing mediation, rather than aggression” during the assault.

“There was a greater degree of provocation than is usual in this type of case,” she added.

Liam Edwards, for Jade Lewis, said she had spent periods of childhood in care but, despite “early life trauma”, had reached 26 without criminal conviction.

“Although older than her sister, she was still greatly affected by the events of her childhood,” he added.

Judge John Devaux told them: “Any suggestion these were unfortunate circumstances is knocked on the head by a message sent earlier, saying ‘See you soon’.

“Neither of you had the best start in life that, I accept and there was some provocation in a previous exchange of messages.”

Toni Lewis will also be required to complete 120 hours of unpaid work, while her sister will be electronically curfewed. Both must pay £1,000 compensation and be subject to restraining orders.

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