Man carried out sustained attack on partner on public path

A WOMAN undergoing a vicious beating at the fists and feet of her partner on a public pathway was spared worse injuries after her screams were overheard by a dog walker, a court heard.

Christopher Philip Woodhead punched, kicked and stamped on the defenceless victim following a heated row after leaving a town centre pub in Stanley, at 1pm on October 1, last year.

Durham Crown Court was told as they walked home along an old railway line path, a lingering disagreement from the previous evening re-surfaced.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said Woodhead, who had drunk about six pints of lager, accused his partner of “sleeping around” and distancing herself from him.

He struck her causing her to briefly lose consciousness.

She came around and Woodhead continuing the assault, causing her to pass out again.

When she regained consciousness she saw a member of the public present who had been walking his dogs and was alerted by her screams and shouts of: “Get off me. Please get off me.”

Mr Baker said the dog walker found Woodhead pinning her to the ground as she struggled in a bush.

Bloodied and swollen about the face and body, she urged him to ring for the police.

When officers arrived, she hugged the dog walker and told police she had been assaulted by Woodhead.

He struggled with officers trying to detain him both at the scene, and, later, at the police station.

Interviewed later, he claimed his partner suffered her injuries from falling over several times, due to drink.

Woodhead, 43, of Constable Close, Stanley, who denied assault causing actual bodily harm, maintained that account at his trial this week.

But a jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict on the second day of the hearing, the first jury trial conducted with social distancing measures put in place, in almost four months at the court.

The jury cleared him of common assault, relating to a further alleged attack on the woman a month earlier, but Woodhead also admitted two counts of assaulting an emergency worker, the two officers.

Judge James Adkin told Woodhead he was convicted of the main count, “on overwhelming evidence” and left his victim with injuries to her head, face and body.

Imposing a two-year prison sentence, Judge Adkin also made a lifetime restraining order prohibiting Woodhead from contacting or approaching his victim.

The Northern Echo | Durham