Thug’s punch left girlfriend partially blind

Portsmouth Crown Court
Portsmouth Crown Court
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A MAN who partially blinded his girlfriend with a punch in a horror attack told a neighbour who came to her aid: ‘I’m not a woman beater.’

Ronnie Payne of Thruxton Road, Havant, was angry his girlfriend as she had run out of nappies, called her an ‘unfit mother’, then argued with her and spent all day drinking at his mother’s home.

The attack 34-year-old Payne, unleashed when he returned at 1am left her shaking and crying cowering, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.

Matthew Farmer, prosecuting, said: ‘She rang him, he was aggressive on the phone saying “I’ll do you, you think your dad’s a gangster.’

When drunk Payne arrived at his partner’s home in Kite Close, Waterlooville, on December 19 lat year, she told him to leave but he went to the bedroom.

‘He pushed her with both hands with some force,’ Mr Farmer said.

‘She fell into a floor length mirror, this caused the mirror to smash, there was glass all over the floor.

‘She says he was then hitting her, she was on the bed worried about the glass, he tried to grab her phone and cigarettes from her.

‘She describes how terrified she was, and particularly of the glass.

‘She thought he was going to kill her, she was worried that her child Theo was going to come out of the bedroom.

‘She put her hand up to shield herself – he hit her to the nose.

‘She tried to get away from him, walked from the hallway to the bathroom.

‘He carried on hitting her, pushing her.

‘He tried to headbutt her on five occasions.

‘He then picked her up and threw her into the bath.

‘She managed to run to Theo’s bedroom, she hoped this would stop him from attacking her.

‘He followed her and continued to hit her.

‘He then fell down, obviously he’d been drinking excessively.’

She then fled to the bedroom where he hit her with a wooden coathanger – it shattered and he picked up the pieces and hit her with them.

Mr Farmer added: ‘He was hitting her on the arms, legs, back and head.

‘She put up her arms to protect herself and received an injury to her wrist.

‘He only stopped because the neighbour shouted through the letter box and came into the house.

‘At that point he started to act normally, went down and greeted her and shouted for Paige to come down the stairs.

‘She was shaking, crying and went to the neighbour and gave her a hug.

‘While she was in her arms she remembers telling him to go and Payne saying he wasn’t a woman beater.

‘Payne twisted her round and punched her straight in the face contacting with her eye.

‘Her eye instantly went black and blurry.’

The neighbour said Payne had been ‘pacing up and down the hallway like a caged animal’ prior to hitting the victim.

She said Payne said: ‘I’m not woman beater, I’m no woman beater.

‘I’m going to have to hit her, you’re making me angry – I’ll show you a woman beater.’

The neighbour then called the police and Payne left – before coming back shouting through the letter box.

Paige let him back in before he was arrested by police.

Mr Farmer added: ‘He was telling her he couldn’t by with her anymore because once he did once he’d do it again. Police arrived, he was arrested.’

The victim suffered seeing only dark shadows from her right eye – it is not known if that will heal – along with a bruised collar bone, ribs and arm. She also suffered cuts under her hair.

He pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Payne also pleaded guilty to drink-driving, failing to stop, driving with no insurance, driving otherwise in accordance with his licence and possession of cannabis, a class B drug on October 18 in Linkenholt Way, Havant.

He had crashed into a car while driving. A test showed he had 75 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than the 35mcg legal limit.

The court heard Payne, a plasterer by trade, has 14 convictions for 26 offences.

Darren Bartlett, defending, said: ‘He’s deeply ashamed, he’s embarrassed, he very much regrets his actions.’

Sentencing, judge Ian Pearson said: ‘I regard you as a potential danger to any potential partner you have.’

The judge said probation assessed Payne at being high risk of re-offending.

Judge Pearson handed Payne 20 months for the assault, one month consecutive for drink-driving and banned him from driving for 21 months.

Payne received a month concurrent for the drugs and no separate penalty for the other offences.

The court heard Payne and the victim Paige Wigstead, were in what she called a ‘good relationship’ for six months.