Grantham court: Drunk man tried to strangle ex-partner

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A quiet drink between separated partners turned into a violent assault after half a bottle of vodka.

Darren Short, 47, admitted beating his former partner of 11 years at her home in Kinoulton Court, Grantham, after becoming “extremely drunk”.

He claimed he was so drunk he could not remember the incident but admitted that “if she said it happened then it would have done”.

Grantham magistrates heard on Monday how the ex-partners, who stayed friends “for the sake of their son,” went out together for the day in Leicester on October 30, to visit the victim’s daughter.

On their return, she invited Short in for a drink and he agreed, and they picked up alcohol on the way back.

After drinking vodka, an argument began over money and what the victim said was his use of drugs. When defending himself, Short stressed that no drugs were involved that night, just alcohol, adding that he has not been involved in drugs for 10-12 years. He went on to admit he has used crack cocaine once in the past year.

Paul Wood, prosecuting, said Short became “increasingly agitated and aggressive, and eventually became threatening”.

Mr Wood added: “She repeatedly asked him to leave but he refused. The argument went on for an hour and continued in every room in the house.”

Short slapped her around the face, then followed her into the bedroom where he pushed her on to the bed, climbed on her and “tried to strangle her”. The victim managed to knee him in his genitals and get away, but he followed her into the kitchen and punched her head.

Mr Wood told magistrates how there was then a knock on the door, adding: “She could hear the defendant talking to someone who was telling him to leave her alone. She went into their son’s room and crawled into the bed next to him.”

Undeterred, Short dragged her out by her arm. It was then that there was a second knock on the door; this time it was the police and he was arrested.

Defending himself, Short said: “I’m just gutted about the whole offence. I can’t remember anything. I’m just staying away now. There’ll be no more of this.

“I’m horrified by my actions. We were getting on so well. I don’t know what happened really.”

Magistrates heard how mental health problems prevent Short from carrying out any unpaid work. Instead, he was sentenced to a community order with a supervision requirement, and told to pay £40 towards court costs and a £60 victim surcharge.