Wigan man hit his girlfriend '15 to 20 times'

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

A Wigan man grabbed his girlfriend by the throat and punched her in the face after a day at the races, a court heard.


Paul Hamilton, 47, admitted hitting Sarah Hodgson twice at his home on Welbeck Road, Ashton - but she claimed it was 15 to 20 times.

The father-of-two and managing director of a company pleaded guilty to assault by beating when he appeared before Wigan And Leigh Magistrates’ Court.

Magistrates were told the pair, who had been in a relationship for 18 months but have since split, spent Saturday, March 31, at Haydock Racecourse with Ms Hodgson’s relatives.

The couple went to Hamilton’s home afterwards and he went to bed, while Ms Hodgson stayed downstairs.

But she became upset after a conversation with his 16-year-old daughter and went upstairs, where the pair argued.

She took his phone and hid it in the kitchen, the court heard, before Hamilton followed her downstairs.

Nicola Yeadon, prosecuting, said: “She refers in her statement that he was over the top of her, he was punching her to the face and head. She says a number of times, around 15, 20 times. She says she remembers screaming for him to get off.

“She describes he grabs her around the throat. She thinks it was with one hand. He was shouting, ‘Where is my phone?’”

Mrs Yeadon said Ms Hodgson told him where the phone was and he let go. She left the property, went to a neighbour’s house and called the police.

She suffered a lump and graze on her forehead, as well as scratches on her face and neck. She was upset and did not want Hamilton to contact her again, Mrs Yeadon said.

The court heard Hamilton had no previous convictions and there were no suggestions of other incidents of domestic violence, including when he was married for 20 years.

Mark Ferguson, defending, said: “It’s a very sad day indeed for Mr Hamilton. He comes before the court of good character, a very positive good character. He is not a young man who is starting off in life, he is a mature man and very responsible and it’s a great shame that he comes now and certainly blots his copy book in spectacular fashion.”

He said Hamilton admitted grabbing Ms Hodgson by the throat and punching her twice, causing the injuries.

Mr Ferguson said: “He can’t explain as to why he behaved in that way. He was clearly angry and lost his temper. There is no excuse for it. He has showed an extraordinary level of remorse as far as this incident is concerned.”

A probation officer told magistrates Hamilton felt he had let everyone down, including his father, children, his ex-wife and his colleagues.

Magistrates sentenced Hamilton to a 12-month community order, with a requirement to do 80 hours of unpaid work, and ordered him to pay £200 compensation, £85 prosecution costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

A restraining order was imposed which bans him from contacting Ms Hodgson or going to Quarry Bank, on Rainford Road, Billinge, for 12 months.