Attacker put ex-girlfriend in hospital with ‘mighty blow’ to the face

editorial image

An attacker has been jailed for putting his girlfriend in hospital for a week after delivering a “mighty blow” to her face.

Johnny McRae slapped Ronita Fontaine during a drinking session at the Adam and Eve pub in South Shields in September and accused her of sleeping with her cousin.

The 22-year-old warned Miss Fontaine “watch what happens when we get home” before he was thrown out of the Frederick Street bar.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that when the pair got back to their flat, McRae punched his 32-year-old victim’s face with such force that she was knocked unconscious.

She told police after the attack: “I can’t go back. He will kill me.

“I knew I was going to get a good hiding, but I didn’t think it was going to be this bad.”

Miss Fontaine was x-rayed during her week-long hospital stay and found to have a severely swollen jaw but no fractures.

Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, said it was due to “luck rather than judgement” that no more serious injury was inflicted.

The court heard that Miss Fontaine is now living in hiding because of her fear of McRae.

The court heard that McRae had been banned from contacting her after previous trouble during their four-year relationship but had asked magistrates to overturn a restraining order so they could be together.

McRae, of Lorraine Road, South Shields, admitted common assault and assault, and Judge John Milford sentenced him to two years behind bars.

The judge said the couple’s relationship was “toxic” and made a five-year restraining order banning McRae from having further contact with Miss Fontaine.

Judge Milford told McRae: “You punched her, a mighty blow, with the result that she was knocked unconscious. The swelling and injury to her face was such that she spent a week thereafter in hospital.

“She is terrified of you and the situation when you are eventually released.”

Barry Robson, defending, said there had been a history of problems from “both sides” during the relationship.

Mr Robson said McRae is now desperate to deal with his problems and stay away from trouble .

Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt, of South Tyneside police, said: “I hope the sentence passed is a warning for others that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazette