Builder from South Tyneside hit girlfriend with chisel after 'finding her in bed with another man'
An attacker who hit his girlfriend with a chisel handle then kicked her bottom after he found her in bed with another man has been spared jail.
Andrew Purcell levered out a window at the woman's home with the work tool so he could get inside and apologise to her for squeezing her throat and breaking her mobile phone during a row the night before.
But Newcastle Crown Court heard when the 42-year-old reached the bedroom, he saw that she was in there with someone else.
Purcell then dragged her to the floor, used the chisel to damage three televisions, hit on the back of the neck with the handle and then kicked her bottom.
Purcell, of Beach Street, Jarrow, pleaded guilty to damaging property, assault by beating, assault and criminal damage.
Judge Christopher Prince told him: "You were in possession of a chisel. You then used that chisel to cause damage to items in the property.
"You then struck her to the back of the neck with the handle of the chisel and kicked her in her backside.
"She found this to be extremely painful."
Judge Prince sentenced Purcell to four months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements.
The judge said there were "exceptional circumstances" involved and told Purcell: "You lost control of yourself in a way that is out of character."
Glen Gatland, defending, said Purcell, who was a builder, had gone to the house in the early morning last November 9 to apologise for what had happened the night before.
But Mr Gatland said: "She was in bed with another."
He added: "It was 8am, he had been needing to go to work.
"He had the chisel, which he then levered out the window so he could get to see her because he couldn't get a response at the door, she didn't answer the door.
"He then went through the window, went in to try and find her, went into the bedroom."
Mr Gatland said the other man was "in bed with her".
He said Purcell was a "tormented man" who felt his "world crumbled around him" at the time.