Man threw ex down the stairs in row over smashed plate


A man who threw his ex-partner down the stairs over an argument about a smashed plate has been handed a community order.

Robert Thornton, 33, was in breach of a suspended sentence for another assault causing actual bodily harm against another ex-partner when the incident took place.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Thornton's ex-girlfriend had been visiting his mother at her home in Tynemouth Road, Jarrow on July 3 this year.

Thornton had arrived at his mother's house and accidentally smashed a plate and an argument ensued between the two.

Glen Gatland prosecuting said: "An argument began upstairs in the house while the woman's child was present and the defendant grabbed her and put her in a headlock.

"He then pushed her down the stairs where she landed at the bottom and was then thrown out of the house, luckily she sustained no serious injury.

"The defendant's mother said that the woman had thrown a dish-cloth at him."


In police interview Thornton said that he had been visiting his mother's house and that the woman had "had a go" at him for smashing the plate.

He said that she had no right "kicking off" at him in his mother's house and that she had said something to him about his own children.

He added that she had thrown a dishcloth at him which was soaked in chemical cleaning fluid and said he did grab her but with little force.

In a victim impact statement the woman said that she was upset about the incident and that the attack left her petrified.

Thornton, of Tynemouth Road, was in breach of a suspended sentence from another attack on an ex on February 25 this year.

The court heard that that relationship had ended on August 9 last year and Thornton had met the woman by chance on a night out. They had a brief encounter but then went their separate ways.

When the woman went back home Thornton appeared at the house and punched the front door, damaging it.

He managed to get into the house armed with a hammer and punched and spat in her face leaving her with problems with her vision.

Thornton pleaded guilty to common assault the first day of his trial.

Rachel Hedworth defending said: "Mr Thornton is extremely remorseful for what he did and accepts that he has to moderate the ways he responds to certain situations.

"Since the incident he has been in no more trouble and has been working full time as a labourer.

"A custodial sentence could see him lose his job and he wishes to look after his two young daughters.

"He has reduced the amount he drinks and has given up abusing substances and is striving to put a stop to offending behaviour. He wants to lead a responsible life."

Sentencing Thornton to 200 hours unpaid work within 12 months Ms Recorder Taylor said: "It is clear the victim has experienced a certain amount of distress.

"It is worrying that this offence was commited so soon after recieving a suspended sentence but I am satisfied it is not the most serious of offences, albeit unpleasant."

Thornton was also made to undertake a 30 day rehabilitation programme.