Trucker saw red over curry

Burnley Magistrates' Court

Burnley Magistrates' Court

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A trucker saw red and attacked his on/off partner on Boxing Day after she hurled curry on his silver carpet and started to grind it in with her foot, a court heard.

Sean Andrew Machin (53) launched the contents of a glass of vodka in the face of Diane Hill, who he claimed had had at least 10 shots of the spirit, telling her: “That’s your trouble.”

She put her arms up, knocked the glass from his hand and suffered a slight cut when it smashed.

Burnley Magistrates Court was told the pair had been seeing each other for four years but had never lived together as the victim kept cats and Machin was allergic to them.

They had reunited last May after the funeral of a female friend and had rowed on December 26th when they bumped into the widower of the friend, in a Colne pub.

He was with a new woman, Ms Hill thought it was too soon for him to be in a relationship and she and the defendant fell out about it after ordering a takeaway.

Machin, of Clifford Street, Colne, admitted assault by beating. He was fined £350, with a £35 victim surcharge and £85 costs and was handed a two-year restraining order, banning him from contacting the victim or going on to Holly Street, Nelson, where she lives.

Mrs Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said Ms Hill said Machin had previously assaulted her. They had not been together for the last six months, but had remained in contact.

At about 6pm, the defendant invited her for a drink, they went to a local pub, and then to his house to order a takeaway. They argued about the victim spilling some of the meal on the floor.

In his interview, the defendant said they continued to argue, Ms Hill had a curry on her lap and she threw it on the floor and started to rub it into the carpet. He grabbed her to stop her and moved her out of the way so he could clean it up.

Mrs Yates continued: “He picked up a vodka glass and threw the contents in her face. She put her arms up and knocked the glass out of his hand, causing it to smash. They then calmed down and talked until about midnight when he called her a taxi.”

The defendant had six previous offences on his record, but had not been in court since 2002.

Mr Geoff Ireland, in mitigation, said Machin, a lorry driver, had always denied there were any previous incidents between the pair. The relationship was on/off.

The solicitor continued: “He says she keeps cats, he is allergic to cats and he has never stayed at her home.”

Mr Ireland said the pair got back together about May last year when they saw each other again at the friend’s funeral. They spent most of Christmas Day together and she then went to spend the rest of it with her family.

“On Boxing Day he was at a unit where he repaired motorcycles as a hobby and she turned up. She wanted to go to Burnley shopping, he cleaned himself up, they went shopping and she then said she wanted to go back to Colne.

“They went to a pub and he says she was drinking heavily. He talks about her having had at least 10 vodka shots to drink.

“He says the problem with their relationship is that she drinks heavily. They ended up at the Commercial pub and bumped into the friend who had lost his wife in May. He has now got a new girlfriend.

They socialised and returned to the defendant’s home. He says he had had three or four pints and says he was fully in control.”

Mr Ireland continued: “They fell out. She was being critical of their friend who had found himself a new lady and she thought it was a little bit premature to form a relationship. The defendant was saying it was none of their business.

“She threw red curry right on to his silver-coloured carpet and the carpet was full of the mess. He started cleaning it up. He said to her ‘you know what your problem is’ picked up a glass of vodka, launched it in her face and said ‘that’s your trouble’.

She flung her arms up, she caught the glass and it struck a radiator and smashed. At that stage she was still sitting with one of her feet in the curry and it appeared she was grinding it into the carpet. He took hold of her bodily, moved her out of the way and then proceeded to clean it up.” Machin regretted the assault.

District Judge Meirion Lewis- Jones told Machin: “I’m not sure I know the truth of what happened, but suffice it to say you pleaded guilty to assault.

“You were clearly annoyed about the fact the curry was on the carpet and she wasn’t concerned about that.”