Ipswich: Serial offender who punched his former partner ‘two or three times’ in KFC is jailed for 18 months

SUFFOLK: A man with more than 180 previous convictions has been jailed for 18 months after admitting assaulting his former partner in a town centre fast food restaurant.

Michael Smith, 46, had gone to the cinema in Cardinal Park in Ipswich with his former partner Janice Lilley but during the evening Ms Lilley had become upset at his loud behaviour and had left the cinema after telling him she was going to the toilet, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Smith found Ms Lilley, who lives in Creeting St Mary, in the nearby KFC restaurant and after being abusive to her punched her in the face two or three times, said Shereen Dyer, prosecuting.

Members of the public intervened to stop the attack and the police were called.

Smith, formerly of Needham Market and Felixstowe but now living in Norwich, admitted an offence of common assault on Ms Lilley in February. He was jailed for a total of 18 months for the assault, breach of a suspended prison sentence order and an offence of burglary which he had denied but was convicted of by a jury earlier this week.

Sentencing Smith Judge John Devaux said that 16 of his 183 previous convictions were for burglary.

The court heard that in May last year he was given a 12-month suspended jail term after admitting supplying heroin to mother-of-three Amanda Bennett who died in hospital two days after being supplied with the drug.

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On that occasion the court heard that Smith had met Miss Bennett in Cambridge Drive, Ipswich and they had shared �10 worth of heroin she had in her possession. Smith had prepared the drug by mixing it with water and drawing a syringe before handing it back to Miss Bennett who injected the needle above her right ankle.

She was later found collapsed in a car park area and attempts to resuscitate her were made by a shop worker while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

Craig Marchant for Smith said his client had a troubled history in relation to drink and drugs.

He said that after the assault on Ms Lilley they had caught a train home together. He said Smith was hoping to make a clean start in Norwich.

Mr Marchant said the burglary Smith had been convicted of was at unoccupied premises.

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