A JEALOUS boyfriend who attacked his partner after suspecting she was sleeping with a friend has been spared jail.
Peter Watson hit his partner in the face after a row - just two days after he carried out a earlier assault against her during a play fight that went too far.
The 23-year-old admitted two counts of assault at a previous hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, as well as two bike thefts and a drug possession charge.
Watson, of Dock Street, South Shields, was slapped with a 16-week jail term for the assaults and ordered to serve nine weeks in prison for the bike thefts –with both to run concurrently – but magistrates agreed to suspend the term for 18 months.
Rehana Haque, prosecuting, said: “There was an argument between Watson and his girlfriend. He said she assaulted him and retaliated by hitting her once in the face.”
The court heard that Watson believed she had been seeing a mutual male friend of the two.
The assault took place on September 29, with Watson admitting bending back her finger two days earlier while the two were involved in a play fight at their home in Jarrow.
Watson had also stolen a £250 BMX bike in Jarrow on the same day, with the bike having not been recovered.
Watson also admitted snatching another BMX bike on New Year’s Eve after seeing it in the back yard of a house in South Shields.
But he was spotted by a police officer pushing the bike, while riding on another cycle, in Birchington Avenue, South Shields, later on the same day.
The court heard that the bike belonged to an 11-year-old boy –and was a gift from his gran.
When arrested for that bike theft, he was found in possession of amphetamine during a police station search.
Christopher Brown, defending, said: “He knows and acknowledges that he has had problems with controlling his temper.
“In terms of the bike theft from December 31, he saw a bike in a backyard and thought it was abandoned.
“When he was arrested he had a small amount of amphetamine on him.”
Malcolm Grady, chairman of the magistrates, said: “We believe these offences cross the custody threshold, but we will suspend that sentence.”
Watson must also pay £250 compensation for the loss of the bike and £50 compensation to his former partner.
He was also ordered to complete an 18-month community order, with supervision.