Violent boyfriend jailed for drunken attack on ex-partner

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A violent boyfriend has been banned from contacting his ex-partner and jailed for his latest drunken attack on her.

Self-employed painter and decorator Clinton Lee Bennett grabbed Hayley Thompson by the hair and punched her in the face during an early hours attack outside their Brighouse home.

Bradford Crown Court heard when the complainant’s cousin Jade Smith came out of the property to help Bennett turned on her and pulled her to the ground by her hair.

Prosecutor Ben Crosland said Miss Thompson then tried to intervene, but Bennett bit her causing a sharp pain to her right index finger which later bled.

The court heard that the disturbance in William Street last March was witnessed by a local man who had been alerted by screaming in the early hours.

Mr Crosland said the witness saw Bennett kicking and punching Miss Thompson numerous times and also saw him throw her cousin to the ground.

The court heard that the witness feared for his own safety when Bennett realised he had been seen and began to walk towards him.

Bennett chased after the man as he returned to his own home, but he then broke off and went back to William Street.

As a result of the violence Miss Thompson suffered the injury to her finger and grazes to her left arm.

Miss Smith also had grazes to her arms and a bleeding left knee.

Bennett, of Towngate, Wyke, was arrested soon after the incident and at a trial before Calderdale magistrates last month he was found guilty of two charges of common assault and one of threatening behaviour.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Bennett was already subject to a suspended prison sentence for assaults on Miss Thompson in June and July last year.

It was also revealed that Bennett had been given a 12-month restraining order in the past in relation to another girlfriend.

Judge John Potter revoked the existing suspended sentence and jailed Bennett for a total of 42 weeks.

He also made a new restraining order which now bans 35-year-old Bennett from having any direct or indirect contact with Miss Thompson over the next two years.

As part of the prohibition Bennett is also banned from contacting the complainant via any social media or social networking site.

Bennett’s barrister Camille Morland said the previous restraining order involving another partner had worked to calm things down and there had been no contact between her client and Miss Thompson over the last nine weeks.

Miss Morland said Bennett was realistic about the fact that he would be receiving an immediate custodial sentence.

She said his relationship with Miss Thompson had been ‘’volatile’’ and there was an awful lot going on at the time of the offences.

“He is embarrassed and regretful for his behaviour,” she added.

Judge Potter said Bennett had an unenviable record for being violent.

“On any view, notwithstanding the contents of your letter to me, you are somebody who, particularly in drink, resorts to violent behaviour. On more than one occasion towards women and on more than one occasion within the domestic setting,” he told Bennett.

“You drink and then use your fists and the time has come now for you to receive a significant custodial sentence as a result.”