Serial abuser who launched 'devastating' assault on partner handed 'unacceptable' sentence

·3-min read
Stephen Hill, 23, punched his partner in the face. (Wales News)
Stephen Hill, 23, punched his partner in the face. (Media Wales)

A man who repeatedly punched his partner in the face and knocked her to the ground weeks after she had given birth has had his jail sentence branded "unacceptable".

Stephen Hill, 23, drank nearly a bottle of whisky before assaulting the victim who needed surgery to fit a metal plate into her face to repair her fractured eye socket.

He admitted unlawful wounding and with a one-third discount for his guilty plea, the judge sentenced him to two years and three months in prison.

Hill, of Birchgrove, Swansea, will serve up to half that period in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.

Hill has attacked a previous partner and also battered his grandparents, Swansea Crown Court heard.

Welsh Labour MP Tonia Antoniazzi criticised the sentence, tweeting: “Totally unacceptable, I am angry for women, I am angry for their children who are let down again by the criminal justice system…”

Swansea Crown Court
Stephen Hill was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court. (Getty)

Sian Cutter, prosecuting, said the assault took place in the early hours of 8 January this year at the victim's home in Llansamlet, Swansea.

She said the defendant had stayed the previous night at his partner's but when she woke in the early hours he was not there.

The woman went downstairs and found Hill, and it was obvious he had been drinking.

The court heard the pair began talking but when he lit a cigarette and his partner asked him not to smoke in the house he lost his temper and launched a "sustained assault on her".

Hill repeatedly punched his partner in the face, knocking her down a number of times and landing more blows while she was on the floor.

When she got up, he knocked her down again.

The prosecutor said the woman then asked if she could go to the bathroom and Hill agreed - on condition that she did not take her phone with her and call the police.

When she returned from the bathroom he assaulted her again.

Eventually, the defendant left the house and the woman was able to call 999.

Officers attended the scene and arrested Hill outside the house.

The court heard his knuckles were swollen.

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His partner was taken to hospital suffering from swelling and bruising to her face, including around both eyes.

Scans later showed she had a fractured eye socket, and her right eyeball was slightly sunken in the socket.

She subsequently needed surgery to have a titanium plate fitted in her face to repair the eye socket.

In an impact statement which was read to the court, the woman said she was "devastated" at what had happened, and was having trouble sleeping.

Judge Catherine Richards told Hill he had carried out a prolonged assault on his partner just seven weeks after she had given birth to their baby, and while her other young children were upstairs in the house.

Hill has five previous convictions for six offences including one for assault occasioning actual bodily harm – when he had thrown a former partner to the floor in public and injured her shoulder – and for batteries against his grandparents.

He was also made the subject of an eight-year restraining order banning him from going to his former-partner's house.

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