'They could have killed us'
THE couple who survived the Richards' violent attack have spoken out about their run-in with the "family from hell".
Dean and Kirstine Mewton were both badly injured.
The couple's son Ashley, who was then 15, was also targeted as a neighbourly dispute turned violent.
Outside court, Mr Mewton said: "Because we stood up to them it escalated – and one of us could've been killed from what they did. There were five of them kicking me.
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"If it wasn't for my neighbours coming to help us that night, I don't know what would've happened to us.
"There could have been a death if the neighbours had not intervened."
Mr Mewton added that he was off work for six weeks and could have lost his job but for the support from his employers, Princess Yachts.
He said Ashley, now 17, had suffered from stress – though he had overcome the trauma to earn an apprenticeship.
But Mr Mewton welcomed the sentence, particularly the restraining order which should keep most of the Richards family away from his address.
"Ten or 20 years would not have been enough in some ways. They're the family from hell to everyone in the area.
"They think they're above the law – but they're not.
Mrs Mewton said: "They could have killed us. "They could have left our children without a mother or father."