Colne “drunk” jailed for attacking girlfriend

BEHIND BARS: Robert Fothergill (S)
BEHIND BARS: Robert Fothergill (S)

A DRUNKEN Colne man who beat up his partner, leaving her with a deep eyebrow gash, badly swollen face and a black eye, has been locked up for eight months.

Nicola Evans (31), had been punched repeatedly by Robert Fothergill and ended up with her face gushing with blood after he set about her at a friend’s house, in October.

Fothergill had been given a supervision order just two months earlier and at the time was also on bail over an allegation of common assault against the same victim.

He had been banned from being in contact with her, but the pair had got back together, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The hearing was told how the police had been called to the home address of the defendant and Ms Evans several times during their volatile relationship.

The earlier common assault allegation had been dropped when the prosecution offered no evidence after Ms Evans failed to attend to give evidence at trial in the lower court.

Fothergill, of Primet Heights, admitted wounding and was locked up after a judge told him he constantly failed to respond to non-custodial sentences.

Judge Beverley Lunt told him: “There is no prospect, in my judgement, of you complying with a non-custodial sentence at all.”

Sarah Statham (prosecuting), said on October 15th, Ms Evans and the defendant began drinking around lunchtime and started to bicker.

Both were very drunk by the time of the assault and her recollection of what happened was slightly blurred.

Ms Evans did remember sitting on a sofa when Fothergill began attacking her.

She curled up to protect herself and eventually managed to get up and run out of the house and to her own home.

Police and ambulance were called and officers found her with her face bleeding, physically shaking and hysterical. They discovered the defendant hiding upstairs under the bed covers and he was arrested. He made no comment.

Miss Statham added: “She didn’t comply with the prosecution for the magistrates’ court case and has not been approached with regard to a victim personal statement.”

Fothergill had 24 offences on his record, the court was told.

Patrick Buckley (defending), said there were behavioural issues, and problems seemed to reoccur from time to time when he had consumed alcohol.

Ms Evans had visited the defendant in prison a week ago. She had contacted the defendant before the offence and since and he would go so far as to say he had tried to remove himself on numerous occasions.

The barrister added: “He’s expecting custody.”