December 5 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
A man who attacked his partner during a drunken row has been given a suspended jail term as a last chance so he can get the help he needs with his alcohol problem.
Stephen Heppinstall attacked his partner at their home in Norwich and police were called after neighbours became concerned after hearing screams, swearing and banging, Norwich Crown Court heard.
Claire Matthews, prosecuting, said that when police arrived they found Heppinstall’s partner with bruises and a small cut to her throat and chin, but she refused to make any complaint against Heppinstall.
Miss Matthews said a blood stained knife was found in the hallway but Heppinstall could not recall having used the knife.
When interviewed Heppinstall, 47, admitted that he had been involved in a drunken row with his partner but his partner refused to tell police how her injuries had been caused.
“She said the argument had got out of hand and had been fuelled by alcohol.”
Miss Matthews said that the woman told a police officer that she did not want to press charges and hoped they would get back together.
She also refused to have her injuries seen by a doctor or have them photographed.
The victim also made it clear that she did not want any restraining order made against him.
The court heard it is the second incident involving his partner as he was previously convicted of assaulting her with a bottle in 2010 and got a four month sentence.
Heppinstall, of no fixed address, admitted causing actual bodily harm on May 17 this year.
Katharine Moore, for Heppinstall, said that both the couple had alcohol problems and said it had been an “extremely unpleasant” incident.
“He is able to readily appreciate the fear that his partner felt and he is ashamed of his actions.”
She said he was prepared to co-operate to get the help he needed.
After hearing about his difficulties Judge Nicholas Coleman imposed an 18 month sentence suspended for two years.
He also ordered Heppinstall go on a domestic abuse programme and an alcohol treatment programme so he gets the help he needs.
Judge Coleman told Heppinstall that he had a long history of medical problems as well as alcohol problems and said: “You are ashamed of what you did and so you should be. This is the last chance you have.”
He warned him that if he breached his orders he would face a lengthy jail term and asked for regular updates on Heppinstall’s progress during the order to make sure he stayed on track.