Chesterfield man famed for “Boy They Call Chucky” film jailed for beating partner

A troubled Chesterfield man famously shown assaulting his family in a TV documentary at the age of 12 has been jailed for punching and kicking the mother of his child.

Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 9:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 9:13 am

Christian Cunniffe, 29, was filmed causing mayhem at his Chesterfield family home in the famous 2005 documentary The Boy They Call Chucky.

The sad film showed the Chesterfield youth, just 12 years old at the time, assaulting mum Cath along with siblings during struggles with a medical disorder making him prone to violent outbursts.

Mum Cathy watched today via video link as Judge Nirmal Shant QC jailed Cunniffe for 15 months.

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Derby Crown Court

Derby Crown Court heard how in May 2021 the “heavily intoxicated” defendant punched his partner in the jaw with “with such force that it knocked her off the bed”.

Fergus Malone prosecuting, told the court the vicious blow left the mother of Cunniffe’s child with “badly-damaged” tissue.

Then a month later drunk Cunniffe returned home in the early hours of the morning before “ripping the radiator off the wall” before kicking his victim twice in the stomach and punching her in the face while holding his keys.

Mr Malone said the keys caused a cut to the defendant’s partner’s nose, while she also suffered a swollen cheek and a split lip.

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In another assault in December last year father-of-three Cunniffe held his 22-week pregnant partner by her hair while “while” demanding” she “call him God”.

The court heard Cunniffe had nine convictions for 13 offences including multiple battery incidents, knife possession and assaulting a PC.

However in a victim impact statement Cunniffe’s “forgiving” partner said: “Christian is not very well in his head – I would like to see Christian get help.

"I do not want them to lock him up and throw away the key – I want him to get help. I still love him and wouldn’t want him to go to prison.”

Shannon English, mitigating for Cunniffe, said he suffered with “a number of different mental health issues”, including ADHD, dyslexia, bipolar and hyperkinetic disorder – the latter comprising of excessive involuntary movements.

She said: “In the past he has attributed his offending to alcohol misuse – he accepts his behaviour was disgusting and recognises the catalyst seems to be alcohol.”

Judge Nirmal Shant, jailing Cunniffe for 15 months, made no restraining order in respect of his partner.

She said: “Despite all that happened the complainant is of a very forgiving nature and has asked the court not to impose a restraining order.

"The complainant would do well to remember there has been violence in the past.”

Cunniffe, of Spire Heights, Chesterfield, admitted criminal damage and ABH.

In the 2005 film The Boy They Call Chucky Cunniffe’s “emotionally-drained” mum Cath told a camera crew how dealing with their son’s life-long condition was like “fighting a losing battle”.

She described how Cunniffe was given the nickname “Chucky” - after the infamous killer doll in the 1980s horror film Child’s Play - by local children.

Holding back tears, Cath described how the children would ask him “to do things” and call at the house asking for Chucky.

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