Regulars at a pub were shocked to see a Chesterfield man punch his girlfriend during a wedding-day bust-up in the car park, a court heard.
One of them rang the police, and Shaun Staniforth, 25, of Swaddale Avenue, was arrested and charged for this assault on Nicola Hunt and also two others at her home in Carlton, Nottingham.
Now Staniforth has been sent to prison for 24 weeks by District Judge Leo Pyle at Nottingham Crown Court.
The court heard that one of the previous assaults took place earlier on the same day, Saturday, September 5 last year, when they were getting ready to go to the wedding of one of Staniforth’s friends.
They had an argument because Staniforth didn’t have a suitable outfit to wear for the ceremony. “He grabbed her by the throat and pushed her on to a bed,” said Anna Pierrepont, prosecuting.
“Even though she was upset, she still agreed to go to the wedding. But later that night, while they were socialising in a pub in Carlton, she was concerned he was planning to drive home after he had had a lot to drink.
“She took the car keys and an argument led to him pushing her to the ground in the car park and punching her.
“When interviewed by police, Miss Hunt told of another assault a few weeks earlier when he punched her forcefully in the spine, causing bruising that needed hospital treatment.”
Staniforth initially denied three charges of assault, but was found guilty after a trial.
Nigel Dicks, mitigating, said Staniforth disputed the allegations, but accepted the trial’s findings and also his responsibilities.
He pointed out that that couple had never actually lived together. The bust-ups had all happened during brief periods when he stayed over at Miss Hunt’s home.
He had now moved altogether from Nottingham, where he felt the people he was mixing with were a bad influence, and was living in Chesterfield with his father, who was ‘very supportive’.
Mr Dicks added that although one of the offences was linked to alcohol, Staniforth did not drink regularly. However, he accepted suggestions from the probation service that he needed help with his anger management and ‘emotional control’.
As well as the prison sentence, a restraining order was imposed, banning Staniforth from contacting Miss Hunt or going to her home at Valley Court, Valley Road, Carlton.
The district judge disclosed that the assaults breached a community order that had been imposed on Staniforth for other offences. “Given that two of the assaults took place at Miss Hunt’s home, this was also a gross breach of trust,” he added.