A WIGAN man has escaped an immediate jail term despite punching his then girlfriend while still subject to a suspended prison sentence.
Nathan Hughes, 23, drunkenly knocked Jaqueline Hunter to the ground and left her nursing a bleeding head and swollen cheek after spotting her kissing another man in the early hours of January 28.
Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard how Hughes took a swing at Jack Fishwick after seeing him kissing his girlfriend but, when Mr Fishwick ducked, the defendant connected with Miss Hunter.
Miss Hunter subsequently told police that “anything could have happened” while she was “out of it” on the ground.
Mike Ardern, prosecuting, told how Mr Fishwick had walked Miss Hunter home after she sent him a text message asking to meet up. But when the duo kissed outside her home, Hughes came running out the house and took a swing at Mr Fishwick before yanking his top over his head.
Following the assault on Miss Hunter, Hughes also made a series of empty threats towards the victim’s stepfather, who had turned up to protect his stepdaughter and ask Hughes to leave.
In a police interview, Hughes, of Beaumont Grove, Orrell, admitted that he had chased after Miss Hunter and Mr Fishwick after spotting them kissing, but denied assault.
He only changed his plea on the day the trial was due to start.
The court also heard how Hughes had been given a four-month prison sentence – suspended for two years – and a restraining order in March 2010 following an assault on his previous partner. Melissa Fagan, defending Hughes, told how an immediate prison sentence would not only impact on her client and his full-time job, but also on his contact with his two-year-old daughter.
She said there was no suggestion that Hughes had been violent towards Miss Hunter before or after this incident and that her client had now successfully completed every aspect of his previous suspended sentence.
Magistrates handed Hughes a 120-day jail sentence, suspended for two years.
They also ordered him to complete 12 months of supervision, imposed a 12-month restraining order and placed him under a 7pm-7am curfew for the next four months.
Hughes must also pay £200 compensation to Miss Hunter, £50 compensation to Mr Fishwick and £250 towards prosecution costs.