Jealous drunk threw shelving at partner's face in front of child

The town of St Columb Major between Newquay and Wadebridge
The town of St Columb Major between Newquay and Wadebridge -Credit:Greg Martin

A man pulled a shelving unit off the wall and threw it at his partner's face in a fit of drunken jealousy because she had spoken to another man she knew in the pub, a court heard. David Willcocks, 31, from St Columb, near Newquay, pleaded guilty to one charge of assault causing actual bodily harm and one count of breaching a non-molestation order when he appeared before Truro Crown Court last month.

During a sentencing hearing today (Wednesday, May 1), it was heard that on February 11 this year went to the local pub with his partner and started drinking heavily. Ryan Murray, prosecuting, said Willcocks became jealous that she was speaking to another male friend. At 5pm that evening Willcocks went back to his partner's address despite being prohibited from doing so by the non-molestation order imposed on him by her family.

The couple argued and as his partner was sorting out a backpack for the couple's three-year-old son who was sitting on the sofa in the room at the time, Willcocks pulled the metal frame shelving unit off the wall and threw it at her. Willcocks' partner was hit in the face just above her right eye and had to receive six stiches for the injury when she attended hospital. The court was told that the laceration she received that night left a permanent scar above her eye and also led to vision blurring on her right side.

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In a personal victim impact statement read out in court, Willcocks' partner said she had felt scared, worried about the visibility of her facial injury and had also felt guilty that her son had witnessed the assault on her. She said she now wanted to relocate to another town as she no longer feels safe at her address.

The court heard that Willcocks has eight previous convictions for 15 offences, mainly committed when he was a youth, as well as more recent ones for battery dating back to 2006 and 2008 and an assault causing actual bodily harm in relation to an incident in September 2018 when he was in a pub and attacked a fellow punter with a glass and jumped on him.

In mitigation Rupert Taylor, defending, said: "He is ashamed and embarrassed and when speaking to the police he admitted what happened straight away.

"After a period of not drinking he went to the pub and after drinking too much lager he became jealous and in a moment of anger threw the shelving unit. It was reckless but he didn't want to hit or hurt his partner. It was a terrible thing to do which led to a nasty and unnecessary injury. It happened in front of his young son which he find, while sober, unforgivable."

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Mr Murray said Willcocks had already been on remand for two months and had been a model prisoner, engaging with all the services offered to him, adding that he had been assessed as posing a low risk to society and as someone who could benefit society more by being out of jail.

His Honour Judge Robert Linford said slinging a shelving unit at his partner and striking her above the eye had led to a nasty injury. He told Willcocks: "You had been drinking. Your own son was on the sofa in the room and saw what was going on. This is extremely serious offending."

He sentenced Willcocks to an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years as well as 24 months of community order with a requirement to take part in the Building Better Relationships programme and 15 rehabilitation requirement days. Judge Linford also imposed a restraining order not to contact his partner for five years.