A PENRITH man has been banned from seeing his partner for 28 days - despite her pleading with a court to not impose the restriction.

Graham Birkett, 44, declined to oppose the Domestic Violence Protection Order but insisted during at appearance at Carlisle's Rickergate Magistrates' Court that he had done nothing to harm the woman he is now banned from seeing.

Detective Constable Andy Metcalfe, applying for the order on behalf of Cumbria Police, said the order was necessary to protect the woman.

One of her close friends had contacted police to report that he had assaulted the woman following an argument at her Penrith home over money - something police regarded as indicative of controlling behaviour and financial abuse.

Birkett conceded that this was the first report of any domestic trouble between Birkett and the woman, who did not support the police application.

The officer went on to say that the woman was vulnerable, having suffered abuse in a previous relationship which spanned 24 years. "She feels that the police didn't support her in the past," said the officer. "She is not trusting of the police."

Family members would corroborate the allegation of violence, said DC Metcalfe, but no charged could be brought because the women herself was not willing to support a prosecution.

The officer added that the order was necessary to empower and support the women so she could make the right choices in her relationship.

In court, Birkett agreed that he would abide by the protection order, which means he can not contact the woman for a month. But he added: "But it's false. She is mistaken. It's all nothing.

"There was no money gone missing. It was a big misunderstanding on her part. I reacted because she said I was stealing money when I clearly wasn't. I have done nothing but help that woman.

"Anyone will tell you that. I have helped her out of her situation... It's all alcohol. But a breather would definitely help the situation."

The woman also said she suffered from stress and anxiety and had been given "amazing support" by Graham. She said a ban on him seeing her would affect her health as she needed his support. The incident that led to police being involved had involved alcohol on her part.

Magistrates approved the order - which is not a criminal sanction - but said Birkett, of Castle Hill Road, Penrith, will be allowed to visit the woman's address only to retrieve his belongings under police supervision. Domestic Violence Protection Orders are imposed when courts rule that on the balance of probabilities they are necessary to protect a person from violence or the risk of violence.