A mother who helped save a woman from hanging herself wept in court as she was sentenced for attacking a teacher at her son’s primary school.

Shan Shan Su, 40, and her partner Derek Hoilett, 48, were ordered to pay a combined total of £500 in compensation this morning at Croydon Magistrates Court to Kensington Avenue Primary School teacher Jennifer Thorne, after attacking her on December 14 last year.

Su previously pleaded guilty to one charge of common assault, while Hoilett was found guilty of assault at a trial in June.

Only the previous day the pair turned from villains to heros when their quick reactions helped save a 37-year-old woman who was attempting to hang herself from the court’s first floor balcony.

They rushed to hold her back as she prepared to throw herself from the balcony, giving security guards enough time to support her weight and help her down.

Despite these actions District Judge Robert Hunter sentenced Su, from Regina Road, South Norwood to a 12 month community supervision order, taking part in an education and training programme, court costs of £85 on top of the compensation, and a restraining order preventing her entering the school or contacting Mrs Thorne.

Hoilett, Melfort Road, Thornton Heath, has a child still attending Kensington Avenue so was given a restraining order preventing contact with Mrs Thorne, and 150 hours of unpaid community service.

He was ordered to pay £100 in costs.

Judge Hunter said: “Although the incident yesterday shows she can behave in a public spirited way it doesn’t count really as mitigation save that it shows that other than this offence she is someone who can demonstrate responsible actions.”

Previously the court heard Su and Hoilett confronted Mrs Thorne at the Thornton Heath school. Su grabbed the teacher by her suit jacket and scarf and dragged her down the corridor before kicking her on the shin.

Hoilett then pushed Mrs Thorne and tried to prevent others helping her before parents intervened to protect her.

On receiving the sentence Su began to cry loudly and was asked to leave the court. She returned minutes later shouting about her son’s treatment at the school before being ushered out.

Mrs Thorne, who attended the sentencing said: “I’m glad the judge has seen her reaction as it shows what she is like. I think the sentence is very lenient. It was so scary for my children to see that, and has caused me so much distress.”