A woman who attacked her partner with a four-foot long piece of banister was so high on drink and drugs that she could not remember what she had done.

Mary Sheehan was seen on town centre CCTV following victim Anthony Cox down Bideford’s Queen Street before smashing the piece of wood over his head.

Mr Cox suffered bruising to his head which was photographed by police at the scene but he refused to make a complaint or help the police inquiry.

Sheehan attacked Cox exactly a week after they both received suspended sentences for drug dealing at Exeter Crown Court.

They were both drug users whose home had been taken over by London-based dealer Jamhall Raffington-Paul and used as a base for his County Lines operation in a practice known as cuckooing.

Sheehan was at risk of her 20 month suspended sentence being activated but Judge David Evans decided not to do so after hearing that she has made progress in tackling alcohol and substance abuse in the four months since she was last in court.

She blamed the attack on Mr Cox on drinking a liquid form of the drug Xanac.

Sheehan, aged 37, of Queen Street, Bideford, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and was jailed for a further four months, suspended for a year.

Judge David Evans told her: “You were apparently caught on CCTV racing up behind Mr Cox and striking him over the head with a four foot banister.

“Seven days before this, you were put on a suspended sentence for serious offences involving class A drugs. I am told you have taken steps to address issues which underlie your offending behaviour.”

Lee Bremridge, prosecuting, said the assault happened on November 29 last year.

Police arrived and found Mr Cox with an injury on his head and Sheehan heavily under the influence of drink and drugs. Mr Cox said she had hit him after an argument.

She told police she took liquid Xanax and the next thing she knew, she was in the back of a police car.

Ligiea Girard, defending, said the rehabilitation order which formed part of the suspended sentence had a chance to take effect in the seven days between the sentence and this offence.

She said she had taken the drug to treat back pain and had no memory of carrying out the attack or any idea what led up to it. Their relationship is now over.

In the earlier case, Raffington-Paul, aged 26, from Barnet, London, Cox, aged 37, and Sheehan, both of Queen Street, Bideford, all admitted being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

Raffington-Paul was jailed for five years, seven months, Cox for two years, suspended for two years, and Sheehan for 20 months, suspended for two years.