A man who knocked one of his girlfriend’s teeth out and left her with black eyes and cuts to her face was spared jail after a judge agreed they weren’t ‘the most serious of injuries’.
Steven O’Donnell, 39, subjected Kirsty Keane to a terrifying ordeal after scrolling through her messages and falsely accusing her of cheating.
He pulled clumps of her hair out while dragging her to the floor, punched and stamped on her, and then knelt on her arm with his hand covering her mouth for so long she almost lost consciousness.
O’Donnell, of Heaton Norris, near Stockport in Greater Manchester, admitted assault occasioning ABH but his 12-month prison sentence was suspended for two years.
In a statement read out at the city’s Minshull Street crown court, Ms Keane said: ‘Incidents such as these with him have left me having no dignity or self-respect. I do not feel myself at all. I should not feel like this is normal.
‘I have had counselling as a result of this incident. I am astonished that he could behave in such a way towards me and injure me with such force to knock out one of my teeth and cause me all sorts of problems.
‘I have had several dentist appointments and surgery. I am ashamed for various reasons and have left jobs and friends and feel devalued in both my personal life and appearance.
‘This has had consequences for my social life, friendship groups and confidence. I am deeply affected by this but I won’t allow it to beat me.’
The court heard the pair had been in a relationship since 2012 during which he ‘became jealous on occasions’, and by the time of the 26 September of last year their relationship had started to break down.
Prosecutor Lisa Boocock said Ms Keane was ‘away working in Ibiza’ until a few days before the attack, which took place at O’Donnell’s flat the morning after they agreed to meet for drinks.
Defending, Rachel Faux said O’Donnell ‘recognises this was a serious offence’, adding that ‘he does express remorse and empathy for the offences and the injuries to the victim’.
But she went on: ‘I ask the court to consider alternatives to immediate custody because of the pandemic, where prisoners are locked up in their cells for 23 and a half hours a day, and the fact these were not the most serious injuries and he did not turn up at her home uninvited.
‘The victim has sent him hundreds of text messages which he has received on his normal telephone number. He has not responded to her. They are from a new number which is clearly her. They range between being extremely affectionate and extremely jealous.’
Sentencing, Judge Maurice Greene told O’Donnell: ‘This was a very unpleasant offence against your former partner and in the period leading up to it you had become paranoid and jealous.
‘The injuries in this case were not the most serious but it could be said that you could have caused more harm than you actually did.
‘I accept that despite what she says in her impact statement she has been sending you text messages, some of which are friendly while others suggest jealousy.
‘You are now showing remorse but that is late in the day and you were under the influence of cocaine and alcohol at time. It is true you have no previous convictions for domestic violence and have not offended since 2015, and you have also had a difficult few years in which you have suffered from a number of bereavements.’
The judge also noted that O’Donnell suffers from anxiety and depression, adding: ‘I am prepared to suspend your sentence since you have been out of trouble for five years and were clearly having some sort of episode.’
O’Donnell was banned from contacting Ms Keane for two years and told not to respond to any of her messages. He was further ordered to complete 150 hours’ unpaid work and complete a relationship support programme.