A man who launched an attack with a pick axe handle was injured himself after being disarmed by his intended victims.
Carl Wake was among four men who took part in a fight in Oxford Road in Hartlepool.
The fracas started because Wake had passed on ‘tittle-tattle’ about one of the men, Teesside Crown Court heard.
“It seems Mr Wake had heard one of the men had been unfaithful to his girlfriend,” said Anthony Dunne, prosecuting.
“The other man heard what was being said about him and took against it.
“Wake arranged to meet the other man to talk things over.”
The court heard three men turned up to meet Wake at his mother’s house.
“She told them to go away,” said Mr Dunne.
“Mr Wake rushed out of the house carrying a pick axe handle and struck one of the men. They quickly disarmed him, knocked him to the ground, causing a head injury which needed hospital treatment.”
Wake, 29, of Whitburn Street, Hartlepool, admitted assault, and possession of an offensive weapon, both on April 22.
He has previous convictions for offences of violence and public disorder.
Andrew Teate, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Wake came off worst in this encounter, having been struck with what he believes may have been a hammer.
“He was wrong to leave the house armed, but he did believe his mother was about to be attacked, and he was acting in her defence.
“The blow he struck was a single one, and there is no record of it having caused any significant injury.”
The court heard Wake is addicted to cannabis and on sickness benefits, making him unsuitable for community work.
Judge James Brown sentenced Wake to a community order of 12 months, including 25 rehabilitation activity days.
The judge told him: “This case illustrates the dangers of peddling tittle-tattle.
“I am not convinced you invited the other man around to discuss this over a cup of tea, although you didn’t know he would arrive in company.
“There was no obligation on you to leave the house to attack one of them, that was your choice, and you received a serious beating in return.
“I take into account you have some health difficulties, albeit some are self-inflicted. I also note your last offence involving violence was nearly 10 years ago.”
Three other men involved in the incident are being dealt with in separate court proceedings.