August 8, 2018 9.24 am This story is over 65 months old

Man smashed ex’s head against coffee table

“He punched Miss Stokes in the face twice”

A man who attacked his former partner after letting himself into her home was sentenced to 12 months in jail on Tuesday.

Stephen Clarke was previously abusive towards Carla Stokes when they met by chance while both were out in Grantham earlier this year.

Lucy Jones, prosecuting, said that Ms Stokes, who was with a female friend, received text messages telling her that Clarke was out and was drunk.

Later she was in a bar when Clarke walked in.

Miss Jones told the court: “He started to shout at her. He said he was going to burn down her house. He was visibly angry but after about 20 minutes he left. ”

Afterwards she received a text message from him saying “I’ll be at your house. I’ll see you later”.

When Ms Stokes entered her house she heard a television on in a bedroom and went upstairs to find Clarke asleep in her bed.

Miss Jones said: “He had a key to the property and had let himself in.

“The defendant woke and immediately continued the insults.

“Suddenly he punched Miss Stokes in the face twice. Once to the left eye and once to the nose.

“She started to cry. The defendant put his hand over her mouth and then began to claw at her face and pinched her chest.

“She head-butted him and bit hard on his lip causing him to let go and she ran downstairs.

“She tried to reach the patio doors to get out but didn’t make it. The defendant grabbed her by the hair and smashed her head against the coffee table three times.”

Ms Stokes then managed to leave the property and sought help from passers by. She was taken to hospital where she was found to have bruising to her face.

Clarke, 21, of Albion Road, Grantham, admitted a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm arising from the incident on February 18 2018.

He also admitted breach of a four month suspended jail sentence imposed for an offence of affray.

Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, told Clarke: “There has to be an immediate custodial sentence.”

The judge imposed an indefinite restraining order banning Clarke from contacting Carla Stokes.

Leanne Summers, in mitigation, said Clarke had shown remorse by pleading guilty to the assault.

She said: “He hasn’t had any contact with Miss Stokes since the offence and he accepts that the relationship is over.”