DWP worker saves a woman being beaten by her boyfriend

Newcastle Crown Court.  (Photo: National World)
Newcastle Crown Court. (Photo: National World)

Gary Pugh had hit the victim with a clenched fist after she refused to hand over cash she was saving for her son’s birthday present so she left the house and was too scared to go back for hours.

Newcastle Crown Court heard when she did eventually return, she was subjected to more violence.

But when Pugh decided to answer a call from the DWP, the worker realised the woman’s plight and contacted the police who went to the house and saved her from the awful ordeal.

Prosecutor John Crawford told the court the woman had gone back to the house in the early hours of the morning after the violence the day before.

He told the court: “He repeatedly assaulted her, kicked her in the back, struck her repeatedly to the head.”

Mr Crawford said the call from the DWP came in to Pugh’s phone at around 11am and added: “During the call she tried to escape from the address, however he grabbed her and put his hand over her mouth, preventing her from leaving.

“She tried shouting, hoping the person on the phone would hear.”

Mr Crawford said the caller could heard a female who sounded distressed and added: “She asked Mr Pugh if everything was alright and he said it was.

“She said five minutes later she could heard ‘let me go’, ‘let me out of here’ and asked him what was going on but he said everything was fine.”

The court heard the DWP worker heard more concerning background noise, the words ‘let me go’ and Pugh muted the call twice then returned to the conversation.

The worker continued with the call so as not to raise any further suspicion then contacted the police, who went to the house.

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The victim’s upper front tooth had been knocked out during the violence and she has since moved away to a new area.

She said in an impact statement she had to walk on eggshells during their relationship and added: “I thought he was going to kill me.”

But the woman, who had dental treatment and counselling after the attack, said she is now proud of how far she has come.

Pugh, 38, of Edendale Court, Blyth, Northumberland, admitted common assault and assault.

Mr Recorder Nicholas Lumley KC sentenced Pugh to two years behind bars with a ten year restraining order to protect the woman from the “violence and trauma” he inflicted on her.

Shaun Routledge, defending, said Pugh has accepted his wrongdoing and added: “This relationship is well and truly over.”