24th Oct, 2016

Suspended jail term for punching girlfriend

Evesham Editorial 11th May, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

AN EVESHAM man was given a four month suspended prison sentence for punching his girlfriend in the face and causing criminal damage.

Ashleigh Mark Thomas Booth, of Merstow Green, pleaded guilty at Worcester Magistrates Court last Friday (May 1) to assaulting Charlotte Howard, damaging her microwave and chopping table and other items.

Owen Beale, prosecuting, told the court Miss Howard came home on November 23 last year after a night out drinking and fell asleep.

The court heard Booth woke her up accusing her of having an affair and Miss Howard tried to get off the bed but the 22-year-old pushed her back down and shouted at her and held her by the neck. His girlfriend asked him to get off but he held her

down, she spat on him when trying to get away and he gripped tighter on her throat and spat back at her.

Booth then hit her in the face but she managed to get past him and went outside, where a neighbour saw him pull her back in to her home while she asked for help.

Mr Beale then told then court Booth started smashing items when the pair went back inside the house.

The court heard Booth called police himself and said: ‘I just beat my girlfriend up’.

Defence solicitor, Chris Hilton told District Judge Jim Tindal Booth had expressed regret but had never been physically abusive to Miss Howard before in their four year relationship.

However Miss Howard had described him as controlling and the court heard Booth had mental health issues he was trying to deal with.

District Judge Tindal, said: “One of the most telling parts of this is that you phoned the police yourself and what was going through your mind was a a dawning realisation of what you had done and shock at how you behaved.

“You did not think you were the sort of person to wake someone up when they were asleep, grab them round the neck, spit at them when they try to get away, punch them in the face and grab her dragging her back again.

“I do not know what happened to you that evening but I accept that it is not the way you normally are.

“You should think yourself lucky that this lady thinks enough of you to reconcile in any circumstance.

“You should treat her with the respect she deserves and never do anything like this again.” he added.

He ordered Booth to pay £200 compensation, £85 court costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

He also has to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work within the 12 month suspended period and must complete a domestic violence course.