Grantham court: Jealousy at texts triggered assault

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A father has pleaded guilty to committing assault by beating and criminal damage after reading text messages between his ex and her new boyfriend.

The court heard how Jody Henderson, aged 39, of Stamford Street beat his former partner of 14 years and destroyed her phone by throwing it against a wall on October 12.

The couple, who have a daughter, ended their relationship in July, although Henderson didn’t want to break up and initially they carried on living in the same house.

However, after discovering that she was seeing someone else during a family holiday, Henderson became very upset and when they returned she moved back to her parents’ house with their daughter.

On October 12 while their daughter was away at respite care, Henderson agreed that his former partner could stay at his house to have some time to herself.

Both of them went out separately on the evening in question, with Henderson returning about 15 minutes after his ex-girlfriend at 1.45am.

She fell asleep in a spare room, at which point Henderson looked at her mobile phone and read the text messages she had exchanged with her new boyfriend.

Consequently Henderson became ‘upset and jealous’ explained Rory Macmillan, defending, and woke up his former partner.

While she tried to get him off the bed, Henderson sat across her and held her down, before getting up and thowing her phone against the wall and smashing it.

His ex tried to fight back, but Henderson pushed her to the floor and punched her to the head several times.

Mr Macmillan said that his client then ‘came to his senses’ and went off to his own room to calm down.

He heard the victim go downstairs and call the police, and waited for them to arrive.

The magistrates were informed both by the defence and in a statement from the victim that Henderson had never shown physical violence before this incident, which was out of character.

The statement described him as ‘a good man and a wonderful father’.

Henderson was fined £500 with a further £150 awarded in compensation for the phone.

Magistrates also ordered him to pay prosecution costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £50.