Man who broke partner's jaw spared jail

A man, who broke his partner's jaw but was spared from prison, was told by a judge it was by a "fine line."
A man, who broke his partner's jaw but was spared from prison, was told by a judge it was by a "fine line."
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A thug, who broke his partner's jaw after she accused him of being a "paedophile" for previously going out with a teenager, was spared jail.

Damian Bridge (40) who also bit Justine Wood's finger in a separate attack, had a previous conviction for battery against her.

Burnley Crown Court was told Bridge owned up to causing the victim's jaw injury, saying he hit her across the face with an open hand and she fell heavily to the floor.

Bridge, who had a relationship with an 18-year-old woman when he was 30, said Miss Wood, his on/ off girlfriend since 2011, was extremely drunk and started ranting at him.

He said: "I was extremely upset that she kept calling me a paedophile."

The hearing was told the victim, said to be an alcoholic, suffered a "nasty " fracture to the left side of her jaw.

Unemployed Bridge has now been given a suspended jail term so the probation service can do what a judge described as "intensive work" with him, to protect not only the victim but any future partners he may have.

The defendant, of Allendale Street, Colne, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm in June last year and common assault.

He received eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months, with a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and must pay £150 costs. He was banned from contacting the victim and from entering the area where she lives in Colne for 18 months.

Miss Gemma Maxwell, prosecuting, said both parties described their relationship as volatile and unhappy.

Bridge would say after the relationship broke down, he went to collect some belongings, the pair started to argue, Miss Wood grabbed at his face and they grappled with each other. He bit her finger and ran out of the house.

Miss Maxwell said the defendant, who had 11 offences on his record, denied the offences in interview. He had received a 12-month community order for battery against the victim.

Miss Rachel Cooper, for Bridge, said the complainant accepted she was " something of a chaotic alcoholic."

He had given up alcohol before getting involved with her, but he then started drinking again.

The barrister said:" Whilst they were in this strange relationship for about five years he was conscious of the fact that really they shouldn't be together.

"They were a terrible combination."

Miss Cooper added Bridge, who had been on a curfew for seven-and-a- half months, was no longer drinking alcohol and was training in computing to try and get work.

Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Gibson said the broken jaw, caused by a single blow, was " clearly a nasty injury."

The judge said he had decided to suspend the jail term so that intensive work could be done with the defendant, but told him: "

"Its been a very fine line."