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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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West Cumbrian trawlerman's attack on partially-deaf partner

A former trawlerman was so stressed by his new life away from the sea that he flipped, launching a drink-fuelled attack on his partially deaf partner before pulling out her hearing aids.

Stephen Hinde, 31, carried out the assault on the mother of his three children after drinking 10 pints.

The defendant, of Purser Road, Workington, was given a suspended two-year prison sentence after he admitted an assault causing her actual bodily harm.

Passing sentence, Judge Paul Batty QC described the attack as “brutal”, saying that the photos of victim – who was the defendant’s parter for 15 years – spoke for themselves.

“Your three children were upstairs during this brutal assault, and no doubt terrified by what they were hearing,” said the judge.

“Many will say the best place for you is the Irish Sea, rather than back on shore at Whitehaven.”

At Carlisle Crown Court, prosecutor Kim Whittlestone outlined how Hinde’s victim Kayleigh Jenkinson is 90 per cent deaf and dependent of hearing aids.

On May 14, the defendant had left the then couple’s home ostensibly to go to his new job as a painter and decorator. Miss Jenkinson phoned him at 5.30pm and realised he sounded drunk.

“She decided to visit family and friends with the children and returned home at 8.45pm,” said Miss Whittlestone.

Hinde was by this time back in the house with friends, and he appeared drunk. The visitors left and the defendant tried to cuddle Miss Jenkinson, said the prosecutor.

“She told him to leave her alone,” said the barrister. “She wanted nothing to do with him. He followed her into the kitchen, angry that she was rejecting his advances.”

After he pushed her against a cupboard and she pushed back, she ended up on the floor and Hinde launched what the judge said became a sustained assault on her. As she curled into a ball to protect herself, and pleaded with him to stop, he kicked her repeatedly with his bar feet in the head and body and yelled abuse at her.

He pulled her hair so hard that a clump came out.

When the attacked ended, he pulled out her hearing aids, said Miss Whittlestone. She was severely bruised. Marian Weir, for Hinde, told the court: “He comes before the court ashamed, devastated, and frankly disgusted with his own behaviour.

“He spent almost a month in custody and this has been a wake-up call for him. He recognises that the alcohol he consumed led to him offending as he has. He’s genuinely sorry.”

Arguing that the attack was out of character, Miss Weir added: “He has worked as a trawlerman out of Whitehaven, which required him to be away for two weeks at a time. In January of this year he took the decision to spend more time with his family, deciding that he would leave that business and set up as a painter and decorator.”

But the experience of everyday family life had proved too stressful for him and he needed to return to the sea.

Judge Batty said though it was a serious example of domestic violence, the defendant’s remorse meant the public interest was best served by Hinde returning to doing what he was best at – trawler fishing. As well as the suspended jail term, the judge imposed 200 hours unpaid work and £400 prosecution costs. He also imposed a five-year restraining order, preventing Hinde making any contact with his victim except through his solicitor.

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