Clay Cross caretaker pinned woman by the neck during row over tumble dryer

A caretaker at shared accommodation in Clay Cross pinned a fellow female resident up against the wall by the neck during a row over a tumble dryer, a court heard.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 8:43 pm

John Mather “launched himself” at the woman after confronting her about using the communal machine on January 2 last year at about 8.30pm - when it’s use was no longer permitted so late in the evening.

North East Derbyshire Magistrates Court was told how Eleanor Bidmead enraged Mather by sitting on top of the machine and “blowing raspberries” at him as he asked her to switch it off.

CCTV footage showed a lengthy struggle between the two during which Mather, 51, lashed out at Bidmead.

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Chesterfield magistrates heard the scuffle broke out between John John Mather and Eleanor Bidmead over her late-night use of a tumble dryer

Bidmead could be seen striking Mather about the head and face and kicking him, while also biting his forearm as he wrapped it around her neck.

Becky Allsop, prosecuting, told how Bidmead - who suffered cuts and bruises during the scuffle - had been a victim of domestic violence in the past.

She described how Mather was calm until she called him a “b******” - at which point he pulled her off the machine.

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Speaking about the footage Ms Allsop said: “He had her by the throat - she bit him because he had grabbed her by the neck.”

However Matthew Hague, defending, told how Bidmead was known for using the tumble dryer - kept in the property’s hallway - as late as 3am to 4am.

He told how Bidmead often had guests “coming and going at all hours” - causing problems for Mather - who was paid by the Thanet Street property’s landlord to “keep an eye” on it.

Mr Hague said: “He talked calmly to her for three to four minutes - until she called him a b****** which he couldn’t tolerate.”

The lawyer said that Mather - who had been left with serious bite marks following the skirmish - had “difficulties in terms of intellect”.

Fifty-one-year-old Mather had suffered four strokes in the past and “was suffering very badly with his mental health”.

He added: “He admits he made some bad decisions that night.”

Mather, who admitted assault, was fined £80, made to pay £50 compensation to Bidmead, £32 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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