South Shields dad given suspended jail term for knocking out partner after marathon drinking session
Jobless Brett McGrady, 33, of Imeary Street, South Shields, hit the mum of his child in the face, blackening an eye, a court heard.
She also suffered other bruising and dizziness from the evening assault on Saturday, September 21, 2019 – and had to go to hospital for an X-ray and scan.
The woman claimed the attack at her home in Skegness Parade, Hebburn, was unprovoked, magistrates in South Tyneside were told.
McGrady was also charged with assaulting one of her female friends, who came to her aid, in the minutes afterwards.
But he insisted their relationship had been blighted by violence on both sides - and claimed she had been the aggressor on the night in question.
The case was resolved at trial on October 26, when McGrady was found guilty of assaulting her but not guilty of attacking her pal.
He has now been handed a 12-week jail term, suspended for 18 months – and must pay his victim £150 compensation, and £300 court costs.
Prosecutor Becky Slade said: “The witness and the defendant separated in 2019. She has two children, one of whom is with Mr McGrady.
“She says that the defendant’s brother died and he lost his job and that he started taking cocaine and drinking.
“The injured party and the defendant were in bed watching TV, and everything was fine.
“Without warning he flipped and struck her twice on the cheek and on the back of the head.
“She didn’t know why he had done this, she hadn’t done anything to upset him.”
Ms Slade said the woman was also knocked unconscious during the incident after being grabbed by him.
She added: “She didn’t know how long she had been unconscious, but when she came around he was still ranting.
“She felt dizzy and she was bruised. She had to go to hospital for X-rays and scans.”
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said magistrates who heard the trial had accepted his client had retaliated to provocation.
But he admitted they had judged him to have used unnecessary force and found him guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Mr Forrester added: “The defendant’s account is that they were in a toxic relationship where she assaulted him on a regular basis.
“After they had drank a second bottle of whiskey, he was watching TV with his back to her.
“She became aggressive with him and grabbed at him. She went for his eyes. He accepts that his fists catch her.”
Magistrates ordered McGrady to undergo 15 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service and 30 sessions of the Building Better Relationships programme.
They also imposed a two-year restraining order not to contact the woman, other than through a third party for child contact, or attend her home.
McGrady also pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly in Imeary Street on Wednesday, September 23, for which there was no separate penalty.