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Fight between Beards and Morriseys of Ashford ends in baseball bat attack

A feud between two Ashford families ended when a mum smashed a baseball bat over the head of a love rival’s teenage daughter.

The vitriol between the Beards and the Morriseys spilled over into the street in Guernsey Road in May two years ago.

Fighting then broke out in Michelle Beard’s home, after she baited Samantha Morrisey over a dead baby.

Inset: Michelle Beard . Credit: Kent Police
Inset: Michelle Beard . Credit: Kent Police

Now a judge has told the 38-year-old Beard, now of School Lane, Iwade: “It is difficult to think of a more offensive and provocative thing to say to someone than to threaten to p*** on the grave of the dead child."

Canterbury Crown Court heard how the background involved a relationship between Beard and Ms Morrisey’s husband, Dan, while the couple were estranged.

Prosecutor Abigail White told how, during the row, Beard got a baseball bat “and brought it down hard on the head” of Kirsten Morrisey, causing a serious wound.

“On that day Beard was out on the street goading the Morrisey family and some of the things she said to Samantha were particularly upsetting, referencing the death of a child and the fact she wanted to p*** on the grave’."

She added that the Morriseys then went into Beard’s address where fighting broke out between the children.

“Rather than stopping the children fight, Michelle Beard decided she was going to make matters worse by punching Kirsten before hitting her with a baseball bat. It was a sustained attack.

“She brought the bat down with two hands twice, making contact on at least once occasion causing a very large cut to the top of her head, which needed six stitches “ she added.

The court heard that after the police were called, Beard is alleged to have urged her children to hit themselves and she physically attack herself, to make it appear as if they were the victims.

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

The baseball was later taken away by Dan Morrisey and put in his van and it was then handed over to officers later.

Beard claimed she had only “prodded” the victim, who is now 18, and alleged she had been assaulted during the melee.

Recorder Jonathan Higgs QC said there had been bad blood between families and there had been verbal abuse between the parties.

He added that the violence was caused by the goading over the child's death.

"What followed wasn't just a fight and not just an assault, because you used a baseball bat" - Recorder Jonathan Higgs QC

"What followed wasn't just a fight and not just an assault, because you used a baseball bat.

"Your victim received a head wound and it's miraculous her injuries weren't more serious."

He jailed Beard, who had admitted a charge of assaulting causing actual bodily harm, for 21 months.

The Morrisey family watched the hearing from the public gallery and Kirsten wept throughout and was comforted by her mother.

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