Tree surgeon knifed partner in the arm

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A young tree surgeon who stabbed his long-suffering girlfriend in the arm has been jailed for 27 months.

But the final straw for Jodie Makin came when Dean Challis tried to break up a consultation with a social worker at Wigan’s Civic Centre, Bolton Crown Court was told.

Without warning Challis punched Miss Makin to the face, in the grounds of Wigan Parish Church, and shoved a pram, containing their infant son Jayden, down some nearby steps.

She feared the child would be injured but the youngster escape unhurt, the court heard.

His counsel told the court his mindset had been affected by an addiction to the former legal high spice, which he had began taking after his partner suffered two miscarriages.

Challis, of no fixed address, admitted to two offences of assault and perverting the course of justice.

He was also issued with a three-year restraining order by Judge Graham Smith, preventing him from going anywhere near the home of his formner partner, her parents, or grandparents, upon his release.

Jon Close, prosecuting, said Challis, when he realised Miss Makin had reported him to police, called her up and threatened to kill himself if she pressed charges.

He told the court that the couple’s relationship was marred by the defendant’s continuing drug misuse problems, which would lead to him threatening her with violence or resorting to self-harm.

Withing a few months of them getting together, the pair were walking through fields near their home when he suddenly turned nasty.

Mr Close said he dragged her into some nearby bushes and produced an army knife, calling her “fat and ugly” before plunging the knife into her arm, through her jacket.

He apologised and started crying and even accompanied his victim to Wigan Infirmary, where she had to undergo eight or nine stitches for her wound, the court heard.

But Mr Close said she failed to disclose to doctors the real reason behind the injury, claiming she had caught herself on barbed wire.

He said that the second incident before the court occurred last February, shortly after Challis had been released from prison over another offence.

The court heard he had been summoned by his probation officer and was agitated because he feared been recalled to custody.

He turned up at the Civic Centre, demanding to see Miss Makin, who was speaking with her social worker. Even thought he was told he was not welcome he persisted in his attempts to interfere.

Later he punched her in the face, while they were both in the church grounds, and shoved away their son’s pram, the court heard.

Mr Close said Challis then effectively went on the run and ended up living in his car. He made the threatening call, urging her to drop the case, during this time.

Kate Morley, defending, said her client accepted the relationship had suffered because of his actions and he had compromised his future contact with his son Jayden.

She told the court he had been taking spice for some time, since his partner had suffered two miscarriages, especially when his moods were low.

But Challis, who had dyslexia, had a job in the prison laundry and gained qualifications while on remand. He had worked as a tree surgeon, before his arrest, and hoped to return to that job.