A PENRITH man subjected his partner to four hours of domestic abuse during which he twice assaulted her and threatened to kill her while brandishing a knife.

The violence used by 23-year-old Levi Miller began after he and his partner of two years argued over a set of van keys, prosecutor Kim Whittlestone told Carlisle Crown Court.

In the following hours, he verbally and physically abused her.

The defendant, of Bridge Street, Penrith, admitted four offences: two actual bodily harm assaults, two counts of criminal damage, and making a threat with a knife.

Miss Whittlestone outlined the facts.

She said the violence began at the victim’s home on May 26 when, during the argument, Miller punched the woman to the face, leaving her dizzy and with eye pain.

“He then struck her to the left side of her face with an open palm,” said the barrister. “She was wearing glasses which broke as a result of the impact and this caused a cut above her eye. This bled a lot."

Miller found a towel to stem the bleeding, saying he wanted to talk things through. They drove to the pub in her car but then came home after 30 minutes and began arguing again.

Outside the woman’s home, he kicked the front grill of her car, damaging it. He then again punched the woman in the face as then went back into the house.

Miss Whittlestone said: “She described how the violence continued and he began to throw items about the house and punched her to the face and body. The neighbours heard him calling her names… and went round to try to help.”

The witness saw Miller throwing a suitcase which hit the woman on the leg. “He also stamped on her leg and punched her to the face,” said Miss Whittlestone.

The victim also spoke of how Miller picked up a knife and swung it towards her as he said he would kill her. The blade scratched arm. At one point, he locked the house door, leaving the woman fearful of what he might do next.

David Callan, for Miller, said the defendant had been remanded in custody for six months, the equivalent of a one-year jail sentence.

He had entered his guilty pleas in spite of the victim writing a letter in which she said she did not want the prosecution to proceed. Mr Callan added that Miller’s brother had recently been killed in a road traffic accident.

“It was very tragic circumstances,” said the barrister, pointing out that it had been another brother who was driving at the time of the accident.

The most serious charge the defendant faced – an allegation of strangulation – was discontinued by the prosecution, said Mr Callan. “He's virtually a man of good character,” added the barrister.

Judge Nichols Barker said he accepted that the defendant had expressed genuine remorse but his victim’s ordeal, stretching over four hours, must have been “terrifying.”

The judge said: “To be met by a man in your own home, who had already subjected her to violence, who was brandishing a knife and lashing it around.”

The judge noted that Miller was intoxicated, possibly having taken drugs. Judge Barker said: “The recent tragic death of your brother I accept to be mitigation; and I am told that you have addressed your drug use.”

With Miller having spent the equivalent of a year in jail on remand, the judge said that satisfied the need for punishment and so allowed a focus on rehabilitation.

Judge Barker imposed a two-year community order which includes 150 hours of unpaid work, 15 rehabilitation days, and a Building Better Relationships course. He must also observe a tagged 90 day alcohol abstinence order.