South Shields man broke girlfriend's arm after row about him seeing his ex

A boyfriend left his partner with a broken arm in an attack - then returned to cook her meals in a bid to help her out afterwards.

By Karon Kelly
Monday, 5th October 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Monday, 5th October 2020, 4:45 pm

Tony Ratcliffe, 46, and his then-girlfriend fell out over claims about him seeing his ex, which he denied and when they came to blows he held her by the neck and she scratched his face.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 46-year-old pushed the woman on the stairs and she became unbalanced, grabbed onto the wall and he punched her arm, breaking it.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the woman did not report the assault straight away and allowed Ratcliffe to continue attending her home, including to prepare meals for her while she was unable to cook due to her injury.

Tony Ratcliffe

Prosecutor Peter Schofield told the court Ratcliffe and the woman had been together around ten months and were working together doing shop fitting around the country.

By January 20, the relationship was "showing signs of wear".

Mr Schofield said: "There was a minor falling out and an accusation about the defendant seeing his ex partner, which was denied.

"They quickly came to blows. He held her by the neck and she scratched him on the face."

The woman pursued Ratcliffe upstairs and was on the stairs when she was assaulted.

Mr Schofield said: "She had her back to the defendant and she was pushed and became unbalanced and grabbed onto the wall, at which point he punched her on the arm.

"She felt immediate pain and he had broken the humerus head of her left arm."

It was not until the following day she sought medical treatment and the fracture was discovered.

Despite being in "considerable pain", police were not informed until February, when she was persuaded to report it by her GP.

Mr Schofield said Ratcliffe continued attending her home and helped her while she was injured.

He said: "The defendant visited her home with her permission a number of times after the incident and also prepared meals for her because of her inability to cook.

"Although she maintained she was frightened of him, he did have access on a fairly regular basis with her permission."

The woman said in a victim statement that the assault left her in "constant pain", "unable to do things for myself" and unable to sleep.

Ratcliffe, of Gainsborough Avenue, South Shields. pleaded guilty to GBH and was sentenced to 13 months suspended for two years and must do a building better relationships programme.

He was also given a two year restraining order.

Jane Foley, defending, said: "There was a friendship after the incident and he was helping her out."

A message from the Editor:

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to the Sunderland Echo website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit here to sign up. You can subscribe to the newspaper with 20% off here. Thank you.