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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Cumbrian man smashed broom over partner’s head

A drunk man who stamped on his partner’s stomach and hit her with a broom so hard that it broke has been given a suspended jail sentence.

A judge at Carlisle Crown Court told Stephen Robson, 45, that his behaviour towards his partner of 20 years Karen Sanders had been “thoroughly unattractive”.

The defendant had earlier admitted causing her actual bodily harm.

Dick Binstead, prosecuting, said on March 17 Miss Sanders asked Robson to go into Whitehaven to collect a prescription for her. But he went to the pub in Whitehaven and did not return home until midnight.

“He was drunk and they argued,” said Mr Binstead. “She says he became violent, punching her in the face, stamping on her stomach and immediately picking up a broom and then smashing it over her head.”

Police later found the bloodstained broom, which Mr Binstead said had been wielded with such force that it had broken in two.

During the attack, Miss Sanders used her mobile to dial 999.

Robson told the officers she had hit him first and in anger he retaliated. Medics at the town’s West Cumberland hospital treated her for a superficial cut to the head. She also had bruising to her forehead, cheek and lip.

He claimed Miss Sanders had shouted at him when he arrived home, and hit him several times. He said she cut her head when he fell and hit her head on the wall. He denied hitting her with the broom, saying it broke as he hit it against a wall.

Alison Whalley, for Robson, said he accepted he had gone overboard and that he needed help. He had become alcohol free and reduced his methadone use.

She added: “His partner is still supportive and he will have accommodation with Karen Sanders.”

Passing sentence, Judge Peter Hughes QC told Robson, of Newlands Avenue, Whitehaven: “It is thoroughly unattractive for a man to take a broom to his partner and hit her over the head with it.”

The judge acknowledged that there may have been an underlying background of drinking and a struggle against drug addiction but said it was no excuse.

He noted the defendant had recently appeared in court less frequently than previously but warned that if he does not comply with his sentence there will be serious consequences.

The judge imposed a six-month jail term, suspended for two years, with a requirement to undergo a domestic violence programme and an alcohol treatment order.

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