Scarborough man with history of violence against women back in jail for attacking his partner and assaulting police officers

Robert Barnett.
Robert Barnett.

A prolific offender with over 40 criminal convictions to his name is back behind bars after seriously injuring his partner in a head-butting attack and assaulting police officers.

Robert Barnett, 32, from Scarborough, already had a reputation for violence and a long history of attacks on his partner when he head-butted her during a drunken row at her flat, York Crown Court heard.

The named victim suffered a two-inch cut to her forehead and was bleeding profusely, said prosecutor Heather Gilmore.

She said the victim initially “went for” Barnett during the argument but she “ended up on the floor” after he had been “kicking out”.

At one stage during the incident, Barnett was said to have been holding a screwdriver or possibly a knife, although there was no evidence that a weapon had been used in the attack.

Police arrived at the property in Regent Street, Scarborough, and found the victim covered in blood and with a gaping wound to her forehead. She also had a “very-badly” swollen black eye which had closed.

Ms Gilmore said Barnett was “drug and alcohol” dependent and was “clearly drunk at the time of the incident”.

Police later turned up at Barnett’s home on North Marine Road and found him covered in blood. He was arrested but became aggressive, refusing to budge and “shouting and swearing” at officers.

It required extra officers to get him into the police van, where Barnett kicked out at officers and then put a cigarette lighter in his mouth.

When a female officer tried to take it out to stop him choking, Barnett kicked a male officer in the groin.

“The defendant was banging his head all the way to the police station and being aggressive and threatening in custody,” said Ms Gilmore.

“He was placed in a holding cell. When a police officer opened the door, the defendant spat at him.”

Barnett was charged with wounding his partner and three counts of assaulting emergency workers, as well as two breaches of existing court orders. He admitted the offences, which occurred on July 16, and appeared for sentence via video link on Friday after being remanded in custody.

The court heard that Barnett had a long rap sheet dating back many years, which included 43 previous convictions for offences such as serious drug matters, shoplifting, breaching court orders, battery, being drunk and disorderly and obstructing police officers.

He had a “long history” of domestic violence, including a conviction for ABH in 2015 which led to an 18-month prison sentence and other incidents in 2013 and 2017, ostensibly against the same victim.

In one particularly gruesome domestic incident, he bit a woman on the cheek and the blood-soaked victim had to flag police down.

He had served previous prison sentences for domestic attacks and was before the courts as recently as February this year for drink-related pubic disorder and criminal damage for which he received a community punishment and conditional discharge – orders he was still under when he committed his latest offences.

In March, he was given a short prison sentence for breaching a domestic-violence protection order.

A statement by a detective constable from Scarborough Police said Barnett’s aggression towards officers illustrated increasing levels of attacks on emergency workers and the “psychological effects” this was having on police staff, which had led to new legislation increasing maximum sentences.

Defence barrister Taryn Turner described the couple’s eight-year relationship as “torrid”, mainly on account of drink and drugs.

Recorder Margia Mostafa said Barnett had a “terrible” record for violence against women and “this is demonstrated by your behaviour on this day”.

Barnett was jailed for 30 months.