A Northampton man has been handed a suspended prison sentence after a prolonged assault he carried out on his partner left her having nightmares.
Brandon Lee, aged 23, of Campbell Street, appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Friday, May 6 after pleading guilty to assaulting his former partner, occasioning her actual bodily harm on September 17 2021.
The court heard that, when the attack happened, the couple had been together for around 15 months and were living together in a flat in Northampton.
Andrew Howarth, prosecuting, told the court that disputes and arguments in the past led to Lee’s partner leaving the flat to live with her mother for some time and, even though she had moved back into the flat, Lee was still “resentful.”
The court heard that, on the morning of September 17, Lee claimed he had a dream about his partner cheating on him. This led to a conversation that escalated after Lee’s partner said she would not tell him if she cheated on him because she would not cheat on him.
Mr Howarth said that Lee then became “upset and angry” and stood over his partner on the bed and slapped her twice to the face.
The court heard that the victim “screamed and cried” as Lee proceeded to punch her head four times, shouting: “Why are you crying? Shut up.” Lee then got on top of her and placed his hand and neck on her mouth, pressing down.
Mr Howarth told the court that the defendant then broke off, said he was sorry and that he loved her. That seemed to bring an end to the assault but the topic was brought up again and Lee assaulted his partner further, punching her face and the tops of her arms.
Lee stopped and, once again, apologised to the victim but he attacked her again after returning to the issue and becoming angry about his partner living with her mother, the court heard. Lee punched her all over her body for two minutes.
The court heard that, by 4.30pm, the victim had a bath and fell asleep whilst Lee was playing on a games console. Lee then became infuriated once again, telling the victim: “How dare you fall asleep after what has gone on?” and punching her to the stomach.
Mr Howarth told the court that Lee seemed to regret his actions and suggested they go for a walk in Abington Park. At around 7.30pm, the couple were sitting on a park bench when the victim received a call from her mother. Lee became angry that their conversation was interrupted, slapped his partner’s face and left the scene.
The court heard that the “frightened” victim hid from the defendant in an alleyway before getting a taxi to her mother’s house. She subsequently went to hospital, where there suffered from bruising all over her body, and was discharged the next day.
Lee was arrested on September 21 after he handed himself in at the Weston Favell police station, the court heard. He denied assaulting the victim in any way and asserted that she was being untruthful.
Lee’s former partner attended Northampton Crown Court at Lee’s sentencing to read out her victim personal statement.
She tearfully told the court, “I was petrified that he was going to kill me.”
She said she still does not understand why the assault happened and it was very “out of character” of Lee. She described that, as a result of his actions, she struggles to sleep as she keeps getting “flashbacks” from the assault and finds herself constantly looking over her shoulder when she leaves the house as she is “terrified” Lee will be behind her.
The court heard that Lee has one previous conviction of assaulting an emergency worker but Mr O’Donoghue, defending Lee, argued this incident was “minor in nature” and happened after Lee’s assault on his former partner.
Mr O’Donoghue told the court that Lee had a “turbulent upbringing”. As a teenager, he became “withdrawn” and suffered from mental health issues.
He added that there was an element of less culpability because no weapon was used in Lee’s assault of his former partner.
Mr O’Donoghue said: “As the victim described, this is the first time - as far as she was concerned - that an incident had happened and this was out of character for him, which is supported by his lack of convictions.”
He said that Lee, despite struggling with homelessness, attended weekly anger management courses, has secured a new job in a supermarket warehouse and his current partner of five months had attended court to show support for him.
Miss Recorder Levett, sentencing, said: “While you had your ups and downs as many couples do, nothing could have prepared the victim for what you did to her on September 17 last year.”
She added: “Her trust in you and future relationships has been impacted rather significantly. You did that to her because you could not control your temper.”
Lee was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months and he was ordered to pay £250 in compensation to the victim as well as undertake a six month mental health treatment requirement programme.
Lee was ordered to undergo 35 sessions of the building better relationships programme to manage his anger along with 25 rehabilitation requirement days.