‘Obsessed’ ex beat up former partner just days after being released from jail

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An "obsessed" ex boyfriend attacked his former partner just days after being let out of jail for an earlier assault on her.

Daniel Bell kept in constant contact with South Tyneside woman Laura Duncan, by phone and letter, while behind bars for beating her, despite her having restraining order to keep him away.

Just 10 days after being back on the streets, the 33-year-old subjected her to sickening violence that left her needing hospital treatment.

Bell was put back in jail - but continued his campaign of pestering her by writing letters from his remand cell, vowing he "wouldn't give up on her".

Miss Duncan, from Hebburn, told police in a victim impact statement she "can't see an end" to her torment at his hands and has been left scarred and frightened.

Prosecutor Paul Rowland told Newcastle Crown Court: "She said she thought when he went into prison the harassment would end but states she can't see an end to it at the moment."

Bell, who admitted assault, criminal damage and breach of a restraining order, was jailed for two years.

Mr Recorder Ben Nolan Qc told him: "You clearly are obsessed by this woman. She doesn't want your relationship to continue and the time will come when you must acknowledge that.

"The message has to be sent, loud and clear, to those who commit domestic violence against a background of a restraining order and those who seek to manipulate and control their relationship that the courts will not tolerate such behaviour."

Bell, of Longley Street, Newcastle, had admitted assault, criminal damage and breaching the restraining order, which was imposed at South Tyneside Magistrates Court in November 2014.

The court heard Bell had been given a 16 week prison sentence in May last year for battery and breach of the order.

Within days he started writing to Miss Duncan, "inquiring to her wellbeing" and asking to resume contact.

He was released from the jail term on July 21 and the former couple bumped into each other on July 31.

The court heard Miss Duncan agreed to go back to Bell's home and they "had a nice evening" together and even went out of lunch the next day.

The court heard it was after the lunch outing, back at Bell's home, he warned he "still loved her and wasn't going to let this go" then refused to let her leave.

Mr Rowland told the court: "He blocked her exit, began pushing her back into the living room.

"He prevented her from leaving, there was further pushing and shoving and she began to shout for help."

The court heard Bell smashed Miss Duncan's mobile phone on the ground during the attack then continued "pushing her all over" until she was bleeding from her head.

The cut, which may have been from being pushed into a head-height kitchen cabinet, needed staples at hospital and she had another laceration to her knee.

Miss Duncan eventually managed to call 999 for help and Bell was arrested.

While remanded in custody he continued to send letters, stating he 'wouldn't give up on her'.

Paul Caulfield, defending, said the prison letters spoke of "undying love and affection" and contained no threats.

He said Miss Duncan instigated some of the contact and added; "He has got to accept this relationship is over. The relationship is bad for her and bad for him and it has got to stop.

"It is absolutely crystal clear this defendant finds it difficult to deal with the breakdown of loving relationships."

Bell, who has previous convictions for violence, was given a new restraining order to keep him away from Miss Duncan for the next three years.