‘Sustained’ assault traumatised mum

editorial image

A Todmorden mum has told a court how she thought she would be killed when her partner attacked her in his home.

Faith Standen read her own victim impact statement to a judge before he imposed a 15-month suspended prison sentence on her ex, Shane Westney.

In the moving statement Miss Standen said she had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder following the attack on her in January and had suffered waking nightmares and sleepless nights as a result. She said the assault had led to a total loss of confidence and she felt like a prisoner in her own home.

It emerged during the hearing at Bradford Crown Court that Westney, of Rochdale Road, Todmorden, had been convicted of a previous assault on Miss Standen last year and was still subject to a community order at the time of the latest incident.

His barrister Jayne Beckett highlighted the fact that her client had not been able to take part in a “safer relationships” programme due to a delay which wasn’t his fault.

She submitted that the couple’s relationship had been “toxic” with a lot of alcohol on both sides.

Westney, 40, pleaded guilty to the assault charge on the basis that he punched his partner as he tried to get her out of his home after a heated argument.

But prosecutor Beth Richardson told the court that the Crown submitted it was a sustained attack which had involved pulling hair and dragging the complainant. During the assault Miss Standen had one of her teeth knocked out and two other teeth were broken and had to be removed by a dentist and replaced. In her statement Miss Standen said she had moved out of the area because she no longer felt safe. “I feel like my life’s been torn apart,” she said.

Mrs Beckett said Westney was no longer drinking to excess and had increased his engagement with his existing community order since the offence in January.

Judge Durham Hall sentenced Westney to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered him to pay his victim £1500 compensation. As well as imposing an indefinite restraining order which bans Westney from contacting Miss Standen, the judge also took the unusual step of making him subject to a 12-month home curfew which will keep him at his house between 8pm and 7am each night.

Westney will be subject to two years supervision and it is expected that he will take part in a safer relationships programme.