Mum's skull left exposed by gaping wound after brutal attack by boyfriend

Julian Manly
Julian Manly

A mum's skull was left exposed when her boyfriend smashed her face into a cupboard as she made a cup of coffee.

The victim suffered a "wicked looking" wound, which ran from her hairline to her eyebrow and took 17 stitches to close, in the attack at the hands of Julian Manly.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the injured woman "slumped to her knees with shock" when she looked in the mirror and saw the damage that had been done and repeatedly vomited.

In a second attack, seven months later, Manly, a 36-year-old Sports Direct worker, applied pressure to the woman's neck to the point where she thought she was taking her "last breath" and was about to die.

Manly, of Somerset Road, Hebburn, admitted unlawful wounding and common assault and has been put behind bars for 21 months, with a five-year restraining order to keep him away from the woman.

Judge Amanda Rippon told Manly the head wound was a "horrific injury" and added: "She fell to her knees with the shock of seeing what you had done to her.

She could see her skull gaping through the massive wound you caused to her forehead."

Judge Rippon said the victim had tried to keep Manly "happy" during their relationship but added: "She has realised she can't live with you anymore, after the second assault.

"She wants you to go away and leave her alone and understand you can't get away with treating her like this."

Prosecutor Stuart Graham told the court the couple had known each other around six years and the victim had believed he was a "spot on bloke".

They had been in a relationship for around 12 months when Manly lashed out last April.

Mr Graham said there had been an argument that morning, which Manly tried to continue but the victim told him "she wasn't having any of it".

He added: "She started to make coffee. He came up behind her and she was grabbed by the back of her head and her head was smashed against the cupboard above.

"She immediately put her hand onto her forehead. She walked out of the kitchen and took her head away from her head, which was covered in blood.

"In the bathroom upstairs she looked at her forehead in the mirror. She slumped to her knees with shock.

"The split had gone right down, her skull was exposed and she could see it."

The court heard the victim was sick "two to three times" before she went to hospital, where her wound was treated with 17 stitches.

In the second attack, last November, the woman fell onto the bed after Manly slapped her face.

He then straddled her and grabbed his neck with his hand, while applying force with his thumb.

Mr Graham said: "She said she felt terrified, she couldn't breathe. She thought it was her last breath and she was going to die."

The court heard Manly kept his victim in that position for about a minute before he let her go.

She suffered redness to her cheek and a sore, swollen throat in that attack.

Manly then sent her a series of text messages asking her to drop the charges, saying he was sorry and "didn't wish to go to jail".

He claimed "accident or self defence" when questioned about the violence by the police.

In her impact statements, the victim said: "It has made me realise I shouldn't have to live like this, in fear of him kicking off".

The court heard the victim still feels pain in her forehead during cold weather and has been warned this may be permanent.

Penny Hall, defending, said Manly has caused no further issues while on bail and is remorseful for what happened.

He had applied to, and been accepted onto, a personal training college course while on bail.

Miss Hall said the victim had not wanted the police to be involved after the first attack and added: "She didn't think he would have expected that type of injury to have occurred."