A woman who lashed out at a house mate with a spirit level in a row over a broken door handle has escaped a jail term.

Amii Crisford missed the man she was aiming for and left his girlfriend with a black eye when she twice whacked her with the metal tool.

However after hearing that the attack was out of character for the 20-year-old, who had never been in trouble with the police before, a judge imposed a community order.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the incident took place at the shared house on Southmead, Chippenham, on Sunday September 9.

She said Crisford and her boyfriend had been arguing and as a result the kitchen door handle was damaged.

Housemate John Alice blamed her for the breakage and was holding a screwdriver when he shouted at Crisford, who responded by hitting him in the face twice.

She went to her room but shortly after heard him going up the stairs so came out brandishing a metre long metal spirit level and swung it at him as he walked away.

But as she swung it at Mr Alice she missed, instead hitting his girlfriend, Helen Stepp, who had come out of their room.

Miss Hingston said the victim was struck once to the body and then to the side of the head with the weapon, leaving her with a black eye from the blows.

Crisford, now of Minster Way, Chippenham, pleaded guilty to common assault on Mr Alice and actual bodily harm to Miss Stepp.

Alex Daymond, defending, said his client and Mr Alice had not got on for a while and she felt he was wrongly blaming her for breaking the door.

His client was only 19 at the time of the incident, he said, and had been living at the shared house for about two years.

Mr Daymond said she worked in telesales taking home about £1,000 a month and had moved to a new address straight after the incident.

He said she had said to a police officer that she 'felt like a monster' after seeing what she had done to her victim.

Passing sentence Judge Euan Ambrose said: "This piece of behaviour now brings you in front of me, not in the magistrates court but straight to the crown court.

"That is I hope a situation that will not reoccur because looking at everything that I have read about you, this is a situation that it properly described as out of character.

"You snapped on this occasion and behaved in a bad way, but in an uncharacteristic way, and you find yourself in a criminal court.

"I have read the pre-sentence report and it is obvious you bitterly regret what you did. You entered a guilty plea at an early stage, are in work and have not returned to the shared house."

He imposed a one year community during which time she must do 180 hours of unpaid work and pay £250 compensation to Miss Stepp.