Man assaulted child’s mother

Scarborough Magistrates Court
Scarborough Magistrates Court

A MAN has pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend in front of their young child in a jealousy-fuelled attack on New Year’s Day.

Scarborough magistrates heard John Swift assaulted his girlfriend on two separate occasions on January 1 as he was jealous she was working and not spending time with him.

Swift, 29, of Long Walk, who was in the army though is now unemployed, appeared in court pleading guilty to two assault charges.

Prosecuting, Katherine Reeve told the court Swift’s girlfriend described him as being “very jealous and controlling, which gets worse when he has a drink”.

Miss Reeve said: “She has got a job as a barmaid and he has reacted very badly. She states Mr Swift wants her with him all the time, but she has to work because they need the money.

“In the early hours of January 1 the complainant arrived back home around 6am after working. He was awake and angry.

“Later that day around 1pm he started getting angry again while he was upstairs with the complainant and their child.

“He asked if he could borrow her mobile phone but she said no because he had smashed her phone on a previous occasion. This made him very angry.

“He shoved his left elbow in her neck while screaming ‘where’s your phone?’. She was crying and was struggling to breathe. She recalls her child saying ‘daddy, get off mummy, you’re strangling her’. She gave him her phone and he disappeared to use it, then came back and said he was going to a friends.”

Miss Reeve said the defendant returned later that day as his girlfriend was getting ready to go back to work.

He had been drinking and as he got angry again he grabbed her by the head, sticking his fingers hard in to her skin before pushing her to the ground and pouring a drink over her.

Miss Reeve told the magistrates that the complainant had said she was worried about the impact the incident would have on her child and that she was scared of Swift.

Magistrates heard there had been three incidents of domestic violence reported against Swift in 18 months, although no charges had been made.

Mitigating, Franklyn Garvey said Swift, who is trying to find work, is curbing his drinking to try to improve the relationship.

He said: “One has got to take into account the date this offence occurred; it was New Year’s Day.

“I think anyone could feel a bit peeved when one’s girlfriend or partner has decided to take on work and will not be with her beloved on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. I think many men would have got into the situation he did, then they would be drinking, except this defendant by his own admission, drank far too much.

“He was very disturbed that she worked at that particular time. I think it’s a natural reaction but he shouldn’t have gone as far as he did.

“He is bitterly regretful for what has occurred, bitterly regretful as far as his girlfriend is concerned, and bitterly regretful that his child was present.”

Magistrates ordered Swift to do a 24-month community sentence including 200 hours’ unpaid work, 24 months’ supervision and six weeks’ specified activity.

He was also ordered to pay £85 costs.