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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Young dad attacked partner as she cradled their two-week-old son

A young father devastated by a car crash that killed two of his friends has admitted attacking his partner, hitting her as she held their baby.

Ricky Holt photo
Ricky Holt

A court heard how 21-year-old Ricky Holt, from Maryport, had struggled to come to terms with the tragedy of losing his pals – his best friend, Jamie Edmondson, 22, and 18-year-old Todd Ridley

They died when their Honda Civic collided with another car at Crosby Villa on the A595 in October.

It later emerged that Holt would also have also been in the ill-fated Honda that morning had he not slept in.

The trio were due to start work at Carlisle’s Cavaghan & Gray food factory.

Holt later told how he had wept for his friends and was wracked with grief and guilt, knowing that he should have been in the car.

At Carlisle Magistrates’ Court, Holt, of Mill Street, pleaded guilty to assaulting his partner Emma Harrison by beating her.

Prosecutor Pam Ward described how, on the evening of December 23, Holt and his partner began arguing about how they would celebrate Christmas Day.

They also argued about who they should visit with their two-week-old son.

Holt snapped, hitting Miss Harrison as she cradled their son, pushing her on to a sofa and then poking her with his fingers in the forehead.

As he went into the kitchen, he continued the attack, slapping her and when she fell to the floor he kicked her in the back, the court heard.

Defence solicitor Helen Wallace told District Judge Gerald Chalk: “My client is remorseful for his actions and appalled by his behaviour.”

She said the fatal accident last year had severely affected him, leaving him with feelings of “latent anger” that he had missed the lift that day and as a consequence lived.

She added: “He admits he has a quick temper and anger gets the better of him sometimes, but he is receiving anger counselling and even attempting to get bereavement counselling.”

A former soldier, who works as a plumber, Holt was hopeful that he may one day be taken by the Marines, she said.

Judge Chalk adjourned sentencing Holt until background reports were prepared.

He will return to be sentenced on February 17.

Holt told earlier how he learned of the tragedy when a friend concerned that he was among the casualties called to check he was okay.

He said his partner almost went into labour because she feared he was a victim of the crash while his father was so relieved when he saw him that he collapsed.

At the time, Holt told the News & Star: “I don’t feel lucky. Yes, I’m happy because I want my son to have a dad, but I feel guilty because I should have been there.

“Ginge (Jamie) was my best friend. I’ve known him for 10 years. I have been with him every single day for the past few months and should have been with him on that day.”

The fatal crash last October also claimed the life of Rover driver Michael Harrison, a 47-year-old Sellafield worker and former retained firefighter from Aspatria.

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