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Darlington bully spared jail for attacks on girlfriend
A BULLYING boyfriend who repeatedly used his partner as “a punchbag” walked free from court yesterday – with a grin on his face.
Jussia Smith told a Probation Service official in an interview that he thought it was acceptable to put his hands around his girlfriend’s throat.
Smith was given a suspended prison sentence because he had already spent the equivalent of an eight-month term behind bars on remand.
A judge at Teesside Crown Court told the 34-year-old lout he was being spared jail so he could be closely monitored in the community.
Smith, of The Mead, Darlington, shook his head in the dock as Judge Simon Bourne-Arton detailed his violent past.
A report by a probation worker said he minimised his behaviour, tried to blame his partner and did not think throttling her was an assault.
His barrister, Kieran Rainey, said he was keen to go on a domestic violence course – for a second time – to try to curb his bullying ways.
He said: “The defendant feels absolutely terrible that he used violence towards her simply as a retort to the arguments they were having.”
The court heard that a restraining order was granted in favour of the woman in May last year following a series of violent incidents.
Twice in May this year, Smith breached the order by harassing her and on each occasion assaulted her, said prosecutor Oliver Thorne.
On one occasion, he punched her in the head, dragged her upstairs by the hair and hurled “verbal abuse and sexual insults”, said Mr Thorne.
Judge Bourne-Arton told Smith: “It is said you are sorry. You didn’t demonstrate any of that when you were speaking to the probation officer.
“You said that your partner likes to play the victim.
“Your view was that grabbing her around the throat didn’t constitute an assault.
“Throughout the time you were speaking to the probation officer, you minimised your involvement and tried to blame your partner in part.
“What you did was, when drunk, go around and simply use her as a punchbag, calling her every name under the sun, kicking her.”
Smith admitted two charges of assault and two breaches of the order, and was given a ninemonth sentence, suspended for two years.
He was also ordered undergo Probation Service supervision for two years and attend the community domestic violence programme.