‘Devious’ woman beater jailed for three years

PCSOs and police officers around Priory School this afternoon

Police speak to school after fight in Southsea play park

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A MAN who beat his ex-partner and her children has been jailed for more than three years.

John Fitzgerald, 31, was found guilty of two counts of cruelty to children, one of assault causing actual bodily harm and three of common assault.

Fitzgerald, of Shirley Towers in Southampton, carried out the crimes against his then partner and her two children when he was living with her in Lee-on-the-Solent.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Fitzgerald had a lengthy history of violence against women he was in a relationship with, including an incident where he poured fuel through the door of a 15th floor flat and set light to it, while another ex-partner and her children were inside.

Judge Ian Pearson sentenced him to 21 months for the child cruelty, 12 months for causing actual bodily harm, and five months for the assaults.

He said: ‘I have seen you give evidence in court and a mere transcript would not convey your worrying attitude to women.

‘You are an intelligent man, but you are violent, controlling, devious and aggressive.’

He added: ‘You are paying lip service to remorse, but it is no more than lip service.’