A model who became a champion gravy wrestler suffered serious eye damage after being hit in the face with a monkey wrench.
Elisa Sampson, 31, was hit in the face by her ‘best friend’ Sabina English, after arriving back at her home in Rossendale, Lancashire, and finding the single mother having sex with another friend on her sofa.
When kick boxer Elisa interrupted the two with a shout of: ‘What are you doing’, laundry worker English jumped up and hit her in the face with the garage tool, which was lying nearby on the floor.
The victim received two fractures around her right eye and a gashed upper lid, which needed surgery and 17 stitches to repair it and which resulted in a ‘deformity’ on the eyelid and long-term vision problems.
At Burnley Crown Court, Lancashire, English admitted grievous bodily harm and was jailed for two years.
She was also barred from contacting Elisa for two years under a restraining order.
The fight occurred last October, a year after blonde Elisa won the 2010 World Gravy Wrestling Championship, in which she wrestled other women and men in 2,000 litres of Bisto outside a pub near her home in Rossendale.
Miss Martine Snowden, prosecuting, said Elisa, English and Paul Greenwood who were all friends, were at the wrestler’s flat enjoying a drinks party.
Trouble began when Elisa Sampson went into her living room and found English and Paul Greenwood having sex.
Miss Snowden said: ‘Elisa was cross with what she saw, unhappy about their behaviour in her lounge and asked: “What are you doing?”
‘But English jumped up and Paul Greenwood got up and grabbed the victim around the throat and pushed her into the doorway.’
English’s brother who was also at the flat punched Elisa in the face a number of times.
The prosecutor added: ‘The victim was not really able to say what happened to her after that, but fought back to some extent and ended up on the floor in the bedroom, in pain and aware her eye was seriously injured.’
The other three fled and Elisa, who was unable to see out of her eye, sought help from a neighbour who called an ambulance. She was taken to hospital, X-rayed and had surgery.
English, of Stacksteads, near Rochdale, was arrested later but made no comment in police interview. She had a conviction for battery from nine years ago.
In mitigation her counsel Ken Hind told the hearing: ‘This is her best friend. They were very close. Socially, they did everything together.
‘Unfortunately, they had been drinking. It would appear everybody who had been there had been drinking all night.
‘Mr Hind said after she struck Ms Sampson, English turned up at Greenwood’s home, not wearing any trousers or shoes, half naked, with a towel around her.
‘She had left behind her phone, handbag, shoes and other things at her friend’s flat.
‘That would clearly indicate the state she had got herself into during the course of that night.
‘She does say she doesn’t drink very much and doesn’t know why she was drinking that night, but clearly she had consumed a great deal on that particular occasion.’
Mr Hind said it would appear English and Paul Greenwood ‘got very friendly and were about to make love to each other,’ when Elisa Sampson had come back into the room, protested and was really angry.
He said Paul Greenwood started the violence. English picked up a wrench off the floor and hit the victim once with it, with ‘devastating consequences’ for her.
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The barrister said Elisa Sampson was a kick boxer and a World Gravy Wrestling Champion and was clearly ‘not somebody who is not able to handle herself.’
Mr Hind added that English had shown genuine remorse.
He went on: ‘This is a lady who is devastated about the infliction of these injuries. She has reduced her drinking.’
The barrister told the court the defendant was the sole carer for her children.
He added: ‘She is devoted to her children. She supports them. She looks after them.’
Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Gibson told English he accepted there was a lack of premeditation, he he was dealing with her on the basis she at least believed she needed to defend herself and the incident was isolated.
He added: ‘I also take into account you admitted the blow with the weapon when the prosecution may have found it difficult to establish who did it.’
English’s brother Amjad Hussain, 27, who had repeatedly punched Elisa was given a 12 month sentence after he pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm.
Paul Greenwood, also of Stacksteads, was earlier sent to prison for three months after being convicted of common assault.
In the annual wrestling championships at the Rose ‘n’ Bowl pub in Stacksteads, Bisto provided 440 gallons of gravy past its best before date for the contest, which raises money for the East Lancashire Hospice.
Local fire crews are called in to hose down the participants after their bouts in the wrestling ring. Wrestlers travel from all over the UK to compete.