A JILTED boyfriend who challenged a love rival to a fight has avoided jail.
The fight, which was talked about on social media sites and had attracted a crowd of onlookers, was witnessed by a resident who alerted police.
After arriving at the incident, which happened behind shops on Stockton Road, Hartlepool, officers arrested Jacob Bates, 20, after catching him armed with a hammer.
The other man involved in the fight, which happened on September 20, was not charged with any offences.
The woman who was watching from her window said that some of the crowd were trying to calm things down because Bates grabbed the rubber-handled hammer from one of his friends and he chased the other man.
He was approached by a group of women who were also trying to calm him, but he spat at two of them and pushed another.
Prosecutor David Crook told Teesside Crown Court: “It appears to have been something of a duel, a pre-arranged fight.
“It was spoken about on social media before and afterwards. The whole event was regrettable, but fortunately it was seen by a member of the public after a number of people had gone along to watch.”
Jim Withyman, mitigating, said: “It is a case of young people not growing up and thinking they are in a soap opera and behaving stupidly.
“It is poor mitigation to say that others were involved as well. He received a cut to his hand.”
Bates, of Nottingham Walk, Hartlepool, was given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for 15 months and 150 hours unpaid work after he pleaded guilty to affray, possession of an offensive weapon and two actual bodily harm assaults.