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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Attack was ‘sustained’ and in front of children

A WHITEHAVEN man faces jail after admitting slapping his ex-partner on the chest and putting his hands around her neck.

Kevin Kenneth Robert Manton, of Sneckyeat Road, also grabbed Marie Tattersall by her wrists and dragged her around the floor. An audio recording was made by the victim on her mobile phone which captured her distress.

Manton, 44, pleaded guilty to common assault at West Cumbria Courthouse on Monday.

Pamela Fee, prosecuting, told the court how the couple, who have a baby son together, had been in a “dysfunctional’’ relationship.

She said on the night of the offence Ms Tattersall had agreed to watch the defendant’s young daughter at his house, while he went out with colleagues. When he came back Ms Tattersall said he was “drunk’’ and she was “scared to be around him when he’d been drinking’’.

Ms Fee said Ms Tattersall wanted to go home with her baby son, but the defendant pushed her with one hand and she fell against a vase. She then tried to reason with him, when he assaulted her putting his arm across her neck and “using both hands to restrict her airway’’.

Ms Tattersall then hid in the bathroom until the next day as she was “scared’’. In a personal statement read to the court, she said following the assault she was “constantly on edge... not sleeping well... scared and anxious’’.

She said her confidence has been knocked and she was ashamed as her injuries, following the assault, had been visible to people. “I want him (Manton) out of my life for good. He has made me feel worthless.’’

Ms Tattersall said she suffered from severe depression, was “a nervous wreck’’ and wanted to move on with her life. She has sought advice from The Freedom Project, run by West Cumbria Domestic Violence Support.

District Judge Gerald Chalk said the case “causes me some concerns’’ and adjourned it until July 16 for a pre-sentence report. He didn’t rule out jailing the defendant.

Mr Chalk said the aggravating features of the case were a breach of trust; the fact it happened in front of two children; it was a sustained attack and involved a “gratuitous” verbal assault.

Natalie Smith, defending for Manton, said her client was “deeply remorseful”. She said he was “deeply ashamed’’ and found it “difficult’’ listening to the recording made by Ms Tattersall.

The couple’s former relationship, Ms Smith said, was “toxic’’ and there was “a lot of animosity’’. They had “tried to work it through... but matters got out of hand.”

WEST Cumbria Domestic Violence Support offers clients a range of services including The Freedom Project. This consists of two separate ongoing rolling programmes, run weekly in group settings – one for victims and one for perpetrators – providing the opportunity to develop different ways of thinking. It also provides help for surviving domestic abuse and help for domestic abusers. Admin: 01900 67167 or Confidential Telephone Helpline: 07712117986. www.freedom-project-west-cumbria.org.uk

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