Drunken bully jailed

Steven Ockwell

Steven Ockwell

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A MAN who forced his partner to drink bleach and set his Staffordshire bull terrier on her has been jailed for three and a half years.

Terrified Jayne Gray was holding the couple’s baby son when drunken Steven Ockwell set the dog on her after a row because he had left the child naked in his cot.

Jailing the 36-year-old, Judge Mark Brown said: “It doesn’t take very much to imagine the awful consequences that could have caused. It seems Miss Gray was immediately sick three times and therefore able to expel the corrosive substance otherwise it could have done untold damage to her intestines.

“It demonstrates controlling behaviour by you and wicked behaviour towards the mother of your child who is physically much smaller than you and plainly in a very vulnerable situation.”

Ockwell, of Warrington Road, Platt Bridge, Wigan, pleaded guilty to administering a poison or noxious substance with intent to injure, two assaults causing actual bodily harm, one involving the dog, and common assault.

Judge Brown imposed an indefinite restraining order to keep away from Miss Gray, her home and her parents home.

Mr Michael Blakey, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that about 3am on April 22 while at their home in Ashton, Ockwell, who was drunk, came into their bedroom carrying a cup in which Miss Gray had left bleach after cleaning.

“He took a drink, spat it out and accused her of trying to kill him. She tried to get out of his way and went into the bathroom and he went downstairs.”

He returned with a similar cup and told Miss Gray, who was lying curled up in fear on the floor, that he was going to watch her drink it as she had made him drink bleach earlier, said Mr Blakey.

“He dragged her up under the arms, held her nose and poured the contents of the cup, which was about a third full, down her throat. She immediately began to feel sick and was sick three times. The defendant said nothing and walked off into the bedroom.”

About 10 minutes later she got into bed and he punched her on the right thigh and said it was her fault he had made her drink the bleach.

On May 1 she came home from work, having left their six month-old-son in his care, and found the child lying naked and crying, with the dog beneath the cot. A row ensued between the couple.

He pulled her onto the settee, while she was holding the boy, and placed the dog’s mouth around her arm and shouted to the dog, ‘get her, shake her, kill her’.

“The dog locked onto her arm biting her while she was still holding the baby. He began to wrench the child away from her and the dog began biting her all over her back and arm.

“She suffered puncture wounds to her arm and scratch and paw marks to her back and shoulders, She was screaming at the top of her voice but he did nothing.”

Mr Blakey said that Ockwell then punched her in the left eye, causing bruising, and stopped the dog attack but pushed her to the floor and kicked her in the lower back. He picked up the screaming woman, put her outside the front door and locked her out.

She summoned help and the police were called. When interviewed he denied making her drink bleach and also denied that the dog had attacked her. Later in a prepared statement he admitted the dog attacked her but denied it had been at his instigation.

The court heard that the victim spent three days in hospital, was off work from a fast food shop for two weeks, and still has the bite mark scars.

Mr John Gibson, defending, said that Ockwell, who has a previous conviction for common assault and drink driving, had an unhappy childhood.

Ockwell, who has a teenage son from a previous relationship, used to have a drug habit but had beaten that and had worked as a warehouse supervisor.

He added: “His difficult childhood had not equipped him with the facilities to cope with difficulties.”