- Wayne Langley, 29, slept with the wife of neighbouring florist Ben Smith, 48
- The affair sparked two years of feuding and fighting between the families
- On April 3 Langley and his family beat the Smith brothers with weapons after finding them working on the front lawn of a potential customer
- The four attackers given a total sentence of four years three months in jail
By Mia De Graaf
Jailed: Wayne Langley, 29, used a pitchfork to attack the husband of a woman he had an affair with. He was found guilty of affray and jailed for two years
Rival gardening families attacked each other with spades and pitchforks in the middle of a sleepy residential town - after an illicit affair sparked a simmering two-year turf war.
The two families, who tended lawns and flowers in Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancashire, horrified elderly customers as they beat, stabbed and stamped on each other in broad daylight in the middle of a street.
It was the dramatic culmination of years of hatred between the families, after Wayne Langley, 29, slept with the wife of neighbouring florist Ben Smith, 48.
The brawl started when Langley and his cousins arrived on the street at 10am to sell fertiliser door-to-door - only to find Mr Smith and his brother Keith, 53, already spreading compost on a front garden.
Enraged, Langley leaped out his white van armed with a pitchfork, quickly followed by his cousin Andrew Pollitt - who was armed with a claw hammer - and another cousin and an uncle.
Ben Smith suffered broken teeth and other facial injuries by a shovel-blow to the head, which left him unconscious and sprawled across a compost heap.
Older brother Keith was speared in the head and shoulder with two prongs of a pitchfork and hammered in the head as he tried to intervene unarmed.
On Monday, the Langley-Pollitt family members were sentenced to a total of four years and three months in jail, and 440 hours of community service.
Langley received a two-year prison sentence, and his uncle Arthur Pollitt, 53, was given 15 months suspended for two years and 240 hours unpaid work.
Cousin Samuel Pollitt, 27, was given 12 months suspended for two years and 200 hours unpaid work.
Andrew Pollitt, 43, will be sentenced later.
Preston Crown Court heard the attack on Wednesday April 3 was not the first conflict between Langley and the Smiths.
Prosecuting, Jon Close said: 'Keith and Ben Smith have come to conflict with the defendants in the past. Ben Smith's wife had had an affair with Wayne. There was bad blood, resulting in a feud between parties.'
Convicted: Langley's cousin Samuel Pollitt, 27, leaving Preston Crown Court where he was also found guilty of affray. He was given a 12 months suspended sentence for two years and 200 hours unpaid work
When police tracked Langley down, his uncle confessed: 'It is all to do with my nephew s****ing that bloke's wife.'
Witnesses told the court they remembered shouting as spades and pitchforks were wielded.
One resident claims one of the victims was stamped on as he lay on the ground, putting up his hands in a bid to protect his face.
Two men were said to have been stood on each side of his shoulders using gardening tools to hold him down on the ground while a third man beat him.
Mr Close told the court: 'There was a fracas between Andrew and Keith. Ben Smith jumped into the back of his vehicle and got a spade.
'He saw Andrew smash the passenger window of the vehicle using the hammer, he then swung the spade at him.
Attack: Ben Smith, 48, and his brother Keith, 53, were laying compost at 10am on April 3 when Langley arrived with his family, enraged that they had beaten him to a customer on the Lancashire street
Wounded: The fight left Ben Smith with fractured eye sockets and missing teeth. His brother Keith was speared in the head
'Keith Smith saw Langley approaching Ben with the pitch fork and then threw the spade at him.
'Despite being unarmed, Keith ran towards Langley and began to fight with him and at this point he was struck with the pitch fork.
'Andrew Pollitt then hit Ben over the head - and the victim remembers nothing else.
'A number of Ben's teeth were knocked out. Keith ran at Langley when the defendant was holding a pitch fork, Keith said Langley put his right arm up and was stabbed in the upper arm by the prongs. Andrew swung the hammer at Keith's head striking him.'
Ben Smith was left lying in a large pool of blood and couldn't stand up. Keith Smith had blood pouring from a wound in his arm. Both were taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Ben Smith suffered fractures to both lower eye sockets, fracture to the lower jaw, small puncture wound to the top of scalp and needed surgery to stabilise his jaw.
Horrified residents: The people of sleepy Riversway in Lancashire looked on in horror as the attack broke out
Keith Smith was transferred to Royal Preston Hospital with three puncture wounds to the back of his right arm, nerve damage, swelling and tenderness to the eyes, a swollen right hand, black eye and lacerations to the ear.
Langley and his relatives were arrested on the M6 as they were driving back to their homes in Manchester.
All were charged with wounding but prosecutors accepted their pleas of guilty to the lesser charge of affray.
In mitigation, Langley's counsel Mr Robin Kitching said: 'This incident occurred by chance. Mr Langley expresses regret and remorse for the upset caused to residents in the street.
'The feud has been going on for a few years. He doesn't accept that he started the violence, he got out to have a verbal confrontation with him.'
Defending Arthur Pollitt, Mr Ken Hind: 'He was effectively in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is generally a very placid individual. He is not a violent man.'
Passing sentence, Judge Nick Clarke said: 'I have heard from a number of neighbours who saw the two victims being attacked and all been disturbed by what they had seen. It is almost impossible to imagine a more serious offence of affray, a violent confrontation that led to extremely serious injuries.'