A Hemel Hempstead woman was repeatedly punched in the face by her new partner whilst she tried to comfort one of her children.
The victim, who had just come out of one violent relationship, was attacked by Andrew Darkins as she sat on a sofa in her home.
Darkins, 22, from Inkerman Street, Luton, had convictions for attacks on three previous partners, was jailed on Tuesday, May 14, for 18 months when he appeared at St Albans Crown Court, having pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm.
Rachel Law, prosecuting, said the mother had been in a relationship with Darkins for eight weeks. At 6.30 in the morning of April 5, she heard her two year old child crying and came downstairs to see him and Darkins on the sofa.
She said: “The defendant said he had not done anything. She asked him to leave, but he refused. He punched her to the face. She felt a pop as he hit her five times to the nose and face.
“During the assault he was apologising, saying: ‘I am not that person.'”
Blood had to be wiped from the child’s feet and legs. The mother, who had heard a ‘pop’ as she was hit on the nose, thought it had been broken.
Ms Law said she was taken to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital. No fractures were detected, but she had two black eyes, a cut on one, severe swelling and pain.
In a statement to the police she said she was too scared to return to her home in Hemel Hempstead and had lost all trust in men.
Darkins had 11 convictions for 29 offences, including five of violence. In one case he had dragged an ex-partner by her hair along the floor until she hit a door frame. In another he had put a knife to the victim’s throat.
David Parvin, defending, said: “It was a very unpleasant assault. He was downstairs with the child. The complainant came down. She accused him of harming the child. It was spontaneous, in the heat of the moment. There was a lack of pre-meditation.
“He is remorseful and has pleaded guilty. He wants to change and knows he can’t go on like this.”
Jailing him, Judge Stephen Warner said: “You lost self-control and punched her five times. She thought you had broken her nose – fortunately she hadn’t. She suffered two black eyes and swelling.
“She was a victim of domestic violence at your hands. You knew she had suffered similar abuse before. It was a thoroughly terrifying ordeal in her own home.”
The judge passed a Restraining Order banning Darkins from contacting the victim.