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Home   Medway   News   Article

Violence flares when Lesley Selwood, her two sons and daughter's boyfriend jailed after dispute with neighbours in Herbert Road, Chatham

09 December 2013
by Julia Roberts

A woman suffering from cancer, her two sons and her daughter's partner have been jailed following an armed "gang attack" on a neighbour.

There was a stunned look on the face of one of the brothers as the family, including the woman's daughter, stood together in the dock at Maidstone Crown Court.
 
And when he queried the judge's decision to send his mother to prison he was warned that he would be held in contempt of court if any more outbursts followed.
 
Maidstone Crown Court

The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

 
The court heard Lesley Selwood, 49, became embroiled in a feud involving her daughter, Kelly, 26, and her partner Nicholas Reed, 50, with James Whatley and his partner.
 
The couples both lived in Herbert Road, Chatham, and there was said to be "tit for tat" behaviour between them in September last year.
 
However, violence flared when Reed believed Mr Whatley had been involved in torching his car.
 
The court heard he armed himself with a wooden baseball bat and, with Kelly Selwood in tow, went to a garage at the rear of Herbert Road where Mr Whatley and a friend, Simon Lewis, were working on a car.
 
Mr Lewis had not been involved in any of the earlier disagreements between Mr Whatley, Reed and Kelly Selwood.
 
Lesley Selwood was visiting her daughter and grandchildren at the time.
 
The court heard CCTV captured her heading towards the garage with a metal pole from a trampoline.
 
Her sons, Darren Selwood, 30, and 27-year-old Lee Selwood, also arrived on the scene.
 
The court was told Mr Whatley was repeatedly struck to his head by Reed. Mr Lewis was also hit across his shins with a metal bar.
 
Mr Whatley suffered cuts to his eyebrow, head and bridge of nose, as well as injuries to his shoulder, elbow, back and forearm.
 
Mr Lewis had cuts to his shin and elbow, as well as a "mild" head injury.
 
"Nicholas Reed took the law into his own hands, something this court will not tolerate. What followed was a gang attack on Mr Whatley and Mr Lewis" - Judge Charles McDonald QC
Reed, whose own arm was broken in the attack, admitted two offences of assault causing actual bodily harm and one of criminal damage to Mr Whatley's Ford Focus.
 
Lesley Selwood, Kelly Selwood and Lee Selwood all admitted affray. Darren Selwood, who was on licence from prison at the time for causing grievous bodily harm, admitted a public order offence.
 
Reed, of Herbert Road, was jailed for 20 months, Lesley Selwood, of Neville Place, Snodland, for 10 months, Lee Selwood, of Turner Road, Tonbridge, for 12 months and Darren Selwood, of Hamble Road, Tonbridge, for three months.
 
Mother-of-three Kelly Selwood was given 12 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.
 
Passing sentence Judge Charles Macdonald QC said: "This was a neighbour dispute. There was a feud and incidents took place for which both sides were to blame.
 
"Nicholas Reed took the law into his own hands, something this court will not tolerate. What followed was a gang attack on Mr Whatley and Mr Lewis."
 
The judge described the Selwoods as Reed's "supporters" but said he accepted Lesley Selwood was carrying the trampoline pole by chance, having been helping to dismantle it in her daughter's garden.
 
Darren Selwood looked around the courtroom in disbelief, however, when he realised his mum, who has bowel cancer, was going to prison.
 
Pointing to her as she stood alongside him in the dock he asked the judge: "But you are going to lock a woman up?"
 
Judge Macdonald responded by telling his defence team: "His outburst is completely out of order and if there is any more I will deal with him for contempt."
 
The judge then walked out of court as the family hugged each other while flanked by five dock officers.

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