Wigan man avoids jail after using "excessive self-defence" against partner

A man who hit and kicked his partner has been spared an immediate jail term for using “excessive self-defence”.

Monday, 17th June 2019, 12:22 pm
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

Wigan justices heard that Callum Beckett attacked Lauren Sumner after drinking at a family party.

Beckett, 21, became “very intoxicated” and his girlfriend left, but he went to her home at around 12.10am on March 31 with his mother.

The court heard Beckett’s mother claimed Ms Sumner lunged towards him, clawing at his neck, so he pushed her away. She pushed back and he pushed and kicked her.

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Adrian Hollamby, prosecuting, said Beckett’s mother tried to get between the couple in a bid to stop the violence.

He said Ms Sumner, a nurse, was screaming as Beckett hit and kicked her and she thinks she passed out. She was left sore and bruised, suffering injuries to her face, arms and legs in the attack.

Beckett, of Cranstal Drive, Hindley Green, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage to furniture, a door and a wall, valued at £140.

A probation officer said he took full responsibility for his behaviour and there were some emotional issues underlying his behaviour. He told her he did not drink regularly and would abstain in future.

Duncan Phillips, defending, pointed out his client had no previous convictions and said he had “no clear recollection” of what happened that night.

Sentencing, bench chairman Michael George Crossley said the sustained nature of the attack and his kicking her while wearing shoes made it a more serious incident, but he added: “We have listened to what’s been said and we have looked at your personal circumstances, your remorse, things like that, and what we find is there was a lack of premeditation.

“It was excessive self-defence, but it was self-defence, and there was quite a lot of provocation at the time.”

The bench imposed a six-month jail sentence, suspended for two years; Beckett must complete 200 hours’ unpaid work and pay £650 compensation, £115 victim surcharge and £85 prosecution costs.

The defence did not oppose a restraining order because the couple have now split.