Man attacked his partner as he fell asleep in bed after conversation about infidelity

A man who attacked his partner as he was falling asleep in bed after a conversation about infidelity has kept his freedom.

Robbie Smallwood struck the victim with a bottle or vase and caused a wound to his head, that needed 12 stitches, then pushed him down some stairs.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim managed to stay on his feet on the stairs but was left "covered in blood" and shouting for help from neighbours.

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Smallwood, 30, of The Lonnen, South Shields, admitted unlawful wounding and has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation and alcohol monitoring requirements.

Robbie Smallwood.

Mr Recorder Ward told him: "He was in bed at the time, falling asleep, he was vulnerable in that moment and taken by surprise by the blow you delivered, which caused quite a significant wound."

The court heard Smallwood and the victim had been in a relationship and were living together at the time of the attack in August last year.

They returned from a night out around 12.30am, having each consumed several pints of lager.

Vince Ward, prosecuting, said: "At home the defendant accused the victim of infidelity. The victim cut the conversation short and said they would speak about it in the morning and he went to bed.

"As he was falling asleep the defendant threw water and flowers at him then struck him to the head with something hard. He didn't see what it was but assumed it was a bottle or vase. That's what caused the wound.

"He made his way downstairs. Part way down the stairs the defendant pushed him down the remaining steps but thankfully he managed to stay on his feet.

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"He went to a neighbour's house to get help and fell through the neighbour's door. He was hyperventilating and covered in blood and shouting for them to phone the police. He was drifting in and out of consciousness."

The victim was taken to hospital and had a four inch wound from his forehead to the back of his head, which required 12 stitches.

When interviewed, Smallwood denied assaulting him and said he had used water from the vase to wet the bed to deter him from sleeping.

Matthew Purves, defending, said Smallwood had a troubled childhood and has used alcohol as a way to cope with his problems.

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Mr Purves added: "This is a gentleman who could do with some support and guidance."