An abusive boyfriend avoided jail time after slashing his pregnant girlfriend across the hand while she was eight months pregnant with their second child.
Wayne Murphy, 34, of Warrington, cut Danielle Metcalfe, 24, of Wigan, with a broken mug, causing her thumb to bleed.
During a violent fight in September of last year, she was attempting to prevent Murphy from self-harming with the shard.
Three weeks later, she gave birth to their daughter, but when she returned home from the hospital, he attacked her three more times.
The Open University history student said Murphy’s violent rages left her feeling ‘like a prisoner in her own body.’
Miss Metcalfe said: ‘Wayne and caused me and my family unimaginable hurt.
‘I now struggle to sleep, have been in a dark place mentally and I feel like a prisoner in my own body.
I felt like all of my choices were taken away from her because of how he controlled my life.
I had always been an optimist when it came to romantic relationships but my experience with Wayne has changed my mind forever.’
Murphy, who worked for a landscaping company, later claimed he attacked his girlfriend since he ‘cannot control his emotions.’
After she gave birth to their daughter, Murphy attacked her three more times in front of their five-year-old boy and baby girl.
He tried to strangle her, hit her face and put his knee on her neck, which left her unable to breathe.
Murphy pleaded guilty in Warrington Magistrates Court to two counts of assault and two counts of causing actual bodily harm.
He was, however, spared prison and given a year’s sentence suspended for 18 months.
Under the terms of a restraining order, Murphy was barred from contacting Miss Metcalfe for three years and was ordered to complete 20 rehabilitation activity days, a Building Better Relationships program, and 120 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay Miss Metcalfe £400 in compensation, £700 in costs, and a £128 victim surcharge.
Miss Metcalfe has since moved in with her mother in Wigan.
Prosecutor Edward Rattigan described the second attack. He said: ‘The defendant grabbed his keys to leave the house during another argument but the complainant tried to take them off him.
‘The couple ended up on the floor after the defendant “took her down” before he put his knee to her neck.
‘She was unable to breathe and he had twisted her arm behind her back. In another incident he also hit her in the face which cut her lip.’
The court heard the final assault occurred last March when the couple were rowing about switching the lights off at night.
When quizzed Murphy, who has no previous convictions, said: ‘Following an argument that has taken place in the early hours of the morning, I have accidentally hit Danielle as I’m taking the bed covers off.
‘The argument continued as I am trying to get a key to leave the house and I accept recklessly causing a scratch to Danielle’s forearm with a key.’
Defence lawyer Jim Edwards said: ‘This man has never been in trouble before, has no previous convictions and has no experience of the criminal justice system.
‘These are not intentional acts of violence on the victim, they are impulsive.
‘He has now not seen his daughter since March of this year, you can imagine how hard that has been for him.’
‘At the time emotions were running high. He cannot control his emotions properly in a toxic situation. He has been suffering from mental health issues and is taking medication. He is now in a much better place than he was before.’
In sentencing, JP Ian Williams said: ‘This matter involves four serious charges. It was over a sustained period and it was against the same victim.’
‘This was in her own home, and more worryingly, this happened while the victim was heavily pregnant and on other occasions when the children were in the house.
‘We found the victim impact statement very moving and difficult to listen to. This has clearly had a long-term effect on the victim.’