A MAN punched his girlfriend in the face and tried to strangle her in Bromsgrove, magistrates heard.
Andrew Leavy, of Wolseley, Bordesley, denied the charges at Redditch Magistrates Court on October 6 but was found guilty of assault on Monday (December 7) after a trial. The 37-year-old also accepted a criminal damage charge.
Jim Masson, prosecuting, said the victim went to pick Leavy up from a pub in Redditch and found him leaving the toilets with another women but still drove him home and dropped his friend off in Rubery.
The victim told magistrates Leavy screamed in her face after his friend left, and shouted he was helping the girl and protecting her. He asked her to pull over which she did and he got out. He knelt back in and tried to drag her out by her hair.
She said she calmed him down and drove ten feet before he tried to strangle her.
“I managed to push him away but he had one hand left on me and when I looked up I saw his other hand come towards me and punch me to the left check.
“He took the keys and got out of the car and started kicking and punching the doors. When I got my phone out he said ‘go on call the police’.
“I had a cut to my cheek, bruises on my neck and chest, my scalp was tender from where he tried to pull me by the hair and it hurt to swallow for about two weeks afterwards.”
The police were called to Birmingham Road, by both the victim and a resident whose family was woken by the noise outside. She said she heard someone hitting a car, swearing and threatening to kill themselves.
Defence solicitor, Sumreen Afsar, questioned Leavy, who suffers from anxiety and aspergers. He said his girlfriend was aggressive towards him in the car and feared for his safety.
“I was worried for both our safety and the safety of others on the road. She was gripping the wheel and speeding through gears so I asked her to pull over.
“I tried to get the keys from her and there was a tussle and that is where I can only assume the key grazed her face.
“I got out the car and had a panic attack. I went into a fight or flight response and took that out on the car.”
The friend said the victim was upset and angry when they were in the car.
Chair of the bench, Alwymn Griffith, said: “The victim’s version of events were corroborated by police and what they saw when they attended the scene.
“A family were also woken by the incident and were so concerned they called the police.”
Leavy was given a 12-month community order with 20 days rehabilitation. He was fined £120 and was ordered to pay £1,080 in court costs and £700 in compensation to the victim for the damage.