Ex-soldier from Darlington punched pregnant partner’ in stomach

AN ex-soldier, said to pose a risk to women he is in a relationship with, has been jailed for “an horrific” attack on his pregnant former partner.

Craig Anthony Rawnsley threw several punches at the woman’s stomach at a time she was three months pregnant with his child.

Durham Crown Court was told she managed to protect the unborn child from potential harm by protecting her stomach, taking blows on her forearms and hands, leaving them heavily bruised.

The court heard Rawnsley saw red when his then partner rebuked him for not helping with domestic chores when he visited her and her three children at their home in Bishop Auckland, on August 1, last year.

Ian West, prosecuting, said Rawnsley shouted and swore at her son, so she asked him to leave, but he refused and prevented her ringing for police, pushing her against a wall, briefly leaving her in fear of passing out, before closing a door on her arm.

After he threw the flurry of punches towards her stomach his partner eventually managed to push him away and he left with his dog.

The victim rang a friend nearby asking for help, but was then reluctant to let her in, fearing Rawnsley had returned.

Mr West said she was taken for hospital treatment but her injuries were said to be of the soft tissue type and her pregnancy was, “fortunately” not affected.

Rawnsley was not interviewed by police for three months, but claimed they just rowed and he merely pushed her away leaving the house.

But the 33-year-old defendant, of Stanhope Road, Darlington, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm this week.

Michele Turner, mitigating, said despite a difficult childhood, Rawnsley went on to give, “distinguished Army service”, in several difficult fields of action, but was only recently referred for treatment for potential trauma with a veterans’ support group.

She urged Judge James Adkin to allow him to receive that treatment in the community, despite the “horrific” nature of the assault.

Judge Adkin said Rawnsley was a man with a history of violent convictions, some against former partners, adding: “I’m afraid the position is, you present a very high risk to women with whom you form a relationship.”

Imposing a 16-month prison sentence, he made Rawnsley subject of a ten-year restraining order, prohibiting him from contacting or trying to approach his ex-partner.

The Northern Echo | Durham