Drunk ends up behind bars

AN Ipswich drunk whose nightmare assault on his girlfriend ended with him hitting her head against a bedstead until she lost consciousness has been jailed.

AN Ipswich drunk whose nightmare assault on his girlfriend ended with him hitting her head against a bedstead until she lost consciousness has been jailed.

Former Ipswich council bin man Richard Nicholls punched kicked and threw Joanne Birt so many times that her entire body was covered in bruising. Ipswich Crown Court heard that Nicholls 27, punched Miss Birt in the face a number of times, kicked her in the back and stomach, threw her across their London Road flat and called her a "fat bitch".

Nicholls pleaded guilty to common assault and causing grievous bodily harm, to Miss Birt his girlfriend of a year on December 5 last year.

Andrew Shaw prosecuting said the couple had only been living together for a month when this attack took place.

He said they had rowed in the early hours after Nicholls had spent the previous evening drinking.

He said: "He began to push her, she fell and hit the right side of her face on the fireplace causing swelling and bruising"

Most Read

Nicholls then called Miss Birt a "fat bitch" and a "useless girlfriend".

He hit her across the face with the back of his hand knocking off her glasses as she crawled on the floor crying and retrieving her glasses.

Nicholls struck her again before telling her he loved her and did not want her to leave him.

Later that day the pair went to the pub and that evening another argument started about Miss Birt not buying Nicholls any beer and he accused her of fancying his friend.

Mr Shaw said: "She said she was sitting down on the Futon when he punched her on the left side of her face with a clenched fist." The court heard that as Miss Birt ran towards the door Nicholls grabbed her arm, threw her across the floor before he got on top of her and punched her in the stomach, he held her round the throat, kneed her in the chest and punched her at least five times.

Nicholls then kicked her in the back and stomach, stamped on her and ripped out a handful of her hair. Mr Shaw said: "Nicholls then took hold of his semi-conscious girlfriend and repeatedly smashed her head against the metal frame of the Futon.

He said: "By now her head was to numb it was not causing her pain but she could feel her face was swollen and bleeding, her head became floppy and limp. He continued to hit her head on the Futon frame saying 'wake up Jo'. Miss Birt told police she remembered waking up on the decking outside and telling Nicholls she needed the toilet."

He said: "I'm not letting you go you physcio". Miss Birt managed to escape out of the garden and jumped down seven foot to where she thought she would reach safety but instead she landed in Nicholls arms. He threw her to the concrete floor causing her to rip her top and hit her head. Miss Birt finally came round from her unconscious state in hospital.

A hospital consultant described Miss Birt as having bruising all over her head body arms and legs.

When Nicholls was arrested he told police there had been a serious argument between "me and my bird" about her ex-boyfriend and a broken window.

Simon Spence mitigating said his remorseful client was "horrified" at what he had done and said that alcohol had always been his "demon".

Judge John Devaux jailed Nicholls for a total of two years, he said the sentence would have been much longer if he had denied the offence.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter