‘Bully’ broke disabled girlfriend’s arm and dragged her through broken glass in shocking campaign of cruelty

A "bully" who broke his disabled girlfriend's arm by kneeling on it and dragged her through broken glass during a shocking campaign of cruelty has been put behind bars.

Michael Kerrigan was a partner and carer for his victim, who used a wheelchair and needed help with day to day living after she lost the use of all four of her limbs.

Newcastle Crown Court heard during their relationship Kerrigan could be "kind and considerate" in his care but at other times called her names designed to"humiliate and degrade" her and left her with painful injuries after two sickening attacks.

Prosecutor Susannah Proctor told the court: "There was an argument and he smashed a glass ashtray on the floor. He pulled her off the settee and dragged her through the glass."

Michael Kerrigan.

Miss Proctor said the wounds on the victim's back from the glass bled and became infected and when Kerrigan took her for medical treatment he told her tolie about what happened, which she did due to fear of him.

In a second shocking attack Kerrigan knelt on the victim's arms as she lay on her bed, while "shouting and spitting" in her face and caused one arm to break.

The court heard despite complaining of pain afterwards, it was three days before the victim received hospital treatment for the injury.

Miss Proctor said it was after a visitor made a secret recording on her phoneof Kerrigan's verbal abuse towards the victim in her home that he wasreported.

But she added: "While in custody he rang her from prison to try and get her to drop the case against him and blame the injuries she sustained on her son."

In a victim statement, the woman said she was "scared, anxious and frightened" of what Kerrigan would do but added he could be "kind, considerate and patient" during their relationship too.

Kerrigan, 44, of St Cuthberts Avenue, South Shields, who has 119 previous convictions, admitted controlling and coercive behaviour and twocharges of assault.

Judge Julie Clemitson jailed him for three years and issued a restraining order to keep him away from the victim.

The judge said: "It is hard to imagine a more vulnerable victim of domestic violence, a woman without use of her limbs, reliant on a wheelchair and dependent upon you to take care of her daily needs."

Judge Clemitson said she accepted there were days when Kerrigan was "kind and considerate" but added: "That can in no way excuse the cruel and bullyingnature of your abuse on the days you were not being kind and considerate.

"You are capable of behaving like a decent human being. Unfortunately, the behaviour I must sentence you for is very far from what one would expect from adecent human being.

"This was a prolonged period of deeply unpleasant behaviour and two particularly nasty and cruel assaults."

Jane Foley, defending, said the couple's relationship was "happy" at the start but added: "There was a lot of frustration, probably on both sides, a lot of tension because he was her carer, doing everything for her.

"He was also having to go out to work, with little sleep.

"He was suffering but didn't ask for any help, which is what he should have done.

"The relationship deteriorated and deteriorated."

Miss Foley said Kerrigan is an industrious man who has worked as a scrap metal merchant and in flooring and added: "He does regret his behaviour."