Man delivers 'martial arts style' kick to girlfriend's head after headbutting hole in her bedroom door
A STROUD man with a history of domestic violence delivered a ‘martial arts style’ kick to his girlfriend's head, having earlier headbutted a hole in her bedroom door, a court heard on Tuesday (September 17).
Gary Birch, of Bowbridge Lock, Trinity, Stroud, was given a prison sentence, suspended for 16 weeks, after pleading guilty to a ‘sustained’ drunken attack on his girlfriend on August 24 this year.
The sentence means Birch, 46, who kicked and headbutted his girlfriend, will only serve jail time if he commits another offence within the next two years.
Cheltenham Magistrates Court also fined Birch a total of £415 for the assault and for causing criminal damage to the wooden door – a charge he also admitted.
Prosecuting, Nadina Farley-Turner said the attack occurred after the couple had been out drinking with friends.
When they returned, she said Birch, who has a conviction for domestic violence from 2006, became abusive and ‘headbutted the door causing a hole the size of his head in it’.
Later, when the pair got into bed Birch repeatedly asked his girlfriend to turn over but she refused, Ms Farley-Turner told the court.
“He then kicked her hard in the back causing her to fall from the bed to the floor. He refused to allow her back under the covers and he started to smoke a cigarette and drink a can of alcohol.
“The defendant then got up and headbutted her in the face. She slapped him several times because she was scared but he then kicked her to the head in a martial arts style move.”
Ms Farley-Turner said Birch’s girlfriend banged on the bedroom walls in a desperate attempt to alert her neighbours to the ongoing attack, which left her requiring hospital treatment for bruising.
Defending, Mr Nicholas Cooper said Birch was ‘extremely remorseful’ and had ‘very little recollection of what occurred beyond damaging the door’.
He added that his client was normally a responsible and trustworthy individual but he had a problem with binge drinking at weekends.
“He pleaded guilty at the very first opportunity and has shown sincere remorse for what he has done,” said Mr Cooper.
Magistrate Dr Margie Doble said: “It was a sustained attack using your head and foot as weapons which makes it much more serious.”
She added: “The reason we are suspending your sentence is because you have shown remorse for your actions, you have taken independent steps to sort out your behaviour and you are in work with a responsible job and we don’t want you to lose that.”
A restraining order was also imposed on Birch, who was ordered to pay court costs of £85, a victim surcharge of £80, compensation to the victim of £100 and £150 for the damaged door.