Colne man hit girlfriend so hard her nose ‘exploded’ with blood

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

A 24-year-old-man from Colne who attacked his then-girlfriend for a second time has been spared jail so he can go on a domestic violence course.

Michael Phair’s second outburst was for no apparent reason and was “almost a complete replay” of his first sustained assault. He had punched Jessica Bell in the face, squeezed her around the neck and threatened to kill her.

A judge said he had now had two chances and there wouldn’t be a third. Judge Edward Slinger said he was taking an exceptional course, so Phair could attend the Building Better Relationships programme.

Jobless Phair, of Birtwistle Avenue, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm on September 24th and had been committed for sentence by Pennine magistrates.

He was given 51 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, with supervision.

Sarah Statham (prosecuting) said Ms Bell (22), had been in a relationship with the defendant since 2007 and in the latter part of it, she would say, he had been violent.

In January last year, Phair had been dealt with for common assault.

In that offence, the defendant had tried to strangle her, she had broken free, had run into Colne centre and he chased her and further assaulted her on the street. Officers in a passing police car saw what happened.

Miss Statham said, despite the incident, the relationship carried on and, on September 23rd, they had been out drinking before returning home in the early hours.

Phair began to get aggressive, she saw the signs and threatened to ring the police.

That made him more angry and he hit her repeatedly in the face, splitting her nose and causing it to “explode” with blood.

She fell to the floor and Phair stood over her, took hold of her throat and began to squeeze hard. The prosecutor said he was shouting “I’m going to kill you.”

The hearing was told the defendant let go and Ms Bell fled from the house without her shoes. Phair gave chase and caught her two streets away.

He again grabbed her around the neck and she was struggling to breathe or shout. She described being pinned down on the ground.

A member of the public went past, the defendant let go and Ms Bell ran to the local police station. Phair still followed her, but the victim was on the phone and he maintained some distance.

Officers described Ms Bell as crying, looking scared and bleeding from a cut to her nose. The defendant was arrested a few hours later and made no comment when interviewed.

Jane Dagnall (defending) said: “He is a young man with many issues. He has significantly low self esteem. He thinks little of himself and does not see himself as a valuable member of society.

“His sense of worthlessness is overpowering. This young lady was the one stabilising factor in his life.

“Perhaps this is not a healthy relationship. The worrying thing is he talks of reconciliation.”

Sentencing, Judge Slinger told Phair: “You were given an opportunity when you were sentenced on the last occasion and yet you have done it all over again.”

The judge said the defendant, who he accepted felt remorse, could have found himself behind bars for 18 months.

He said: “There will be no further chances.”