Man spared jail over violent attack on girlfriend

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A MAN who carried out a “sustained and violent” attack on his girlfriend after she spotted him dancing with another woman in a nightclub has been spared jail.

Michael Willis pulled his partner to the floor by her hair and grabbed her by the throat during an early hours row at their home.

The 26-year-old pleaded guilty to a charges of assault and criminal damage at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

He was handed a 10 week jail term, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay compensation of £197 for damage caused to a door and a lamp during the row.

The court heard that Willis and the injured party has since broken up.

Stan Sudworth, prosecuting, said: “The incident took place at an address on Madras Street, in South Shields, on April 5, where Willis and the injured party lived at the time.

“She had been out and had gone to a nightclub where she saw Willis dancing with another woman.

“She asked him what he was doing but then went home about 4.30am.

“He came home about half an hour later.

“They argued and he shouted in her face and then grabbed her by the hair, dragging her to the floor.

“He put his knee on her chest and grabbed her by the throat.”

The injured party called the police and Willis was arrested.

Christopher Brown, mitigating, said: “He is deeply ashamed and thoroughly remorseful about what he has done.

“He has made positive changes - by moving accommodation.

“He is saddened and distraught that this has effectively terminated a relationship they have enjoyed for a number of years.

“He had been drinking, which was out of character, and apologises for that.

“He doesn’t seek to shift the blame, he has acted in a inappropriate and ghastly way.

“He has shown remorse and contrition and continues to do so.”

Dave Errington, chair of the magistrates, said: “As a bench, we feel this offence has passed the custody threshold.

“It was a sustained and violent attack.”

Magistrates agreed to suspend the jail term for a period of 12 months.

Willis, of Sidecliff Road, Roker, Sunderland, was also ordered to pay compensation of £197 for the criminal damage, court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £80.