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2 March 2011, 18:19
Rose Spanswick, 59, of Hawkenbury Way, Lewes, appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday and was sentenced to eight years imprisonment on all counts, to run concurrently, after being charged with two counts of GBH with intent and one of aggravated burglary with intent.
The charges followed an attack on a couple in their 70s in their home in Hawkenbury Way on November 22, last year.
Detective Inspector Mark OBrien said: "The sentence today reflects the seriousness of the crime. The planning and delivery of the attack by Mrs Spanswick on her neighbours, was shocking to the community and people that knew both the defendant and the victims in this case.
"Mr Patmore showed extreme courage in going to the aid of his wife when the attack happened at their home especially as he believed he was defending his wife against a youth. It is probably through his intervention that the injuries both suffered were not more serious. Both Mr and Mrs Patmore have been severely affected by the incident, but reassured that their attacker was quickly arrested and detained pending her sentencing appearance today.
"Sussex Police would like to reaffirm that this was an isolated incident and an unusal crime to occur in Lewes. We would like to thank members of the public for their support to the police and family during this investigation."
Julian Patmore, son of victims James and Sheila Patmore said:
"The Rose Spanswick that stood in court today will be unrecognisable to those who would claim to know her.
"Hubris and the desperate need to keep up appearances, to avoid losing face and to maintain social status prevented her from asking for help to alleviate her worsening financial situation. It led her instead to try and cover up her plight by committing crimes so calculated and brutal that they could have ended the lives of two innocent and decent people - people that at any other time she would have described as friends.
"For the sake of keeping up appearances, Rose Spanswick came very close to wreaking disaster on this family.
"As it is, the physical and emotional toll will never be forgotten by the victims and close witnesses of these crimes. To say the effects are devastating is no understatement.
"To face the reality of having someone fight their way into your home, prepared to overcome all obstacles with the intent of stealing your possessions is almost unthinkable - to face being deliberately chosen by a 'friend' targeting your perceived vulnerabilities is incomprehensible.
"The family wish to thank the investigating officers, Detective Sergeant Dave Tye, Detective Constable Amanda Heard and Detective Constable John Steven for their professionalism and support over the past few months and for the reassuring visits of the PSCOs to the family home.
"As for now and the future, the family wish to draw a line and move on in peace and ask that privacy is respected. Thank you."