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Bride spent wedding night in jail cell

07:30 Fri Oct 7 2011

An English bride spent her wedding night behind bars still wearing her bridal gown after she returned home drunk from her reception and attacked her "witch" neighbour.

Just hours after saying her vows on July 19, newly married Imogen Hope, 37, arrived home from her West Yorkshire reception and began yelling at her neighbour Samantha Pilling, calling her a "white witch".

Hope, who had been downing beer and spirits at the reception, punched Mrs Pilling at least three times, bruising and scratching her in the process, Calderdale Magistrate's Court was told.

She also accused Mrs Pilling, who is a practising pagan, of putting a curse on her father-in-law who lives in the house between the two women and has recently been diagnosed with cancer.

The women's husbands — gas board worker Keith Hope and former bouncer Stuart Pilling — both joined in on the fight in an attempt to separate their spouses.

Mr Pilling eventually called police, who arrived and arrested Mrs Hope.

Officers asked her if she would like to get changed out of her dress, which was bloodied and stained from a broken nail, but she refused.

PC Stephen Young was the first officer to arrive at the domestic dispute and said Mr Hope was upset his wife would be spending their wedding night in a jail cell.

"Her husband was obviously disappointed," he told the court.

Mrs Pilling, who has lived two doors down from the newlyweds for five years, claimed Hope had never spoken to her before and was shocked by the abuse.

"Personally I thought it was not the way a bride should behave on her wedding night," she said.

She told the court she didn't hit her neighbour because she is not violent, but said she could have seriously hurt her because of her army training, saying: "I have been trained to kill."

Hope was found guilty of assault.

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