By Kevin Unitt Friday 12 October 2012 Updated: 12/10 08:08
A MAN has escaped jail despite attacking his ex-partner and then hurling knives and a stereo system from a fourth floor window as her father came to her aid.
At Warwick Crown Court Sam Clarke, 22, of Bishops Tachbrook, pleaded guilty to charges of assault by beating and affray.
He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, with two years supervision.
Recorder Adrian Redgrave QC also imposed a restraining order for five years banning Clarke from contacting his victim Sian O’Driscoll in any way except through a third party to arrange supervised contact with their baby daughter.
Prosecutor Neil Bannister said Miss O’Driscoll had been in a relationship with Clarke for about 12 months, and they had a child who was born in March, but the relationship broke down earlier this year.
On May 26 Miss O’Driscoll went out to celebrate a friend’s 21st birthday in Leamington town centre when she saw Clarke in the street shouting her name, but she ignored him and continued her evening with her friends.
When she got back to her maisonette home in Kennedy Square, Leamington, she was aware she had left the door unlocked – and there was an indication someone had gone in.
She suspected it was Clarke and went upstairs where she found him in her bedroom where he began accusing her of sleeping with someone else.
They argued, and he grabbed her by the throat and pushed her down on the bed, making it difficult for her to breathe, as he shouted at her, but then stopped and apologised.
Threatening to kill himself, Clarke then went to the kitchen and returned with a knife which he held as he went towards her, before dropping dropping it and punching her.
Miss O’Driscoll ran out onto the balcony and locked the door behind her as Clarke threatened to slit her throat. A neighbour helped her and after she managed to get off the balcony Clarke went back upstairs where, as her father walked towards the block, he threw both knives, a stereo system and a hairbrush at him out of the fourth-floor window.
The police arrived and Clarke, who had no convictions but had cautions for causing damage and possessing cocaine, was arrested.
Sean Logan, defending, said he did not threaten Miss O’Driscoll with the knives and had suffered from ADHD as a child, adding “He is remorseful and recognises he has had some difficulties and has sought help,” as well as stating Clarke helps support his seven-month-old daughter financially and wants to have regular contact with her.
Recorder Redgrave told Clarke: “You are guilty of what must have been a terrifying incident for your former girlfriend and her father. It is an incident in which you produced knives in order to intimidate.
“That sort of conduct requires a custodial sentence; but one which, in this case, I am going to suspend.”
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