South Shields thug hit partner across the head with pool cue and poked it into her eye

Craig Jopling has been jailed for 32 months at Newcastle Crown Court
-Credit: (Image: Northumbria Police)


A thug left his partner with a fractured eye after poking the end of a pool cue into it.

Craig Jopling hit the woman across the head with the pool cue. When she fell to her knees, the 38-year-old poked the large end of the stick into her right eye.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the victim was left with a fracture and swelling. She was unable to open her eye, or see out of it, and she couldn't move her head.

Joe Hedworth, prosecuting, said the incident was Jopling's third attack on her during October last year. He said the defendant had previously punched her up to five times in the face, causing an injury to her mouth.

The court heard how he also hit her with a bottle, leaving a scar down her forehead. The woman told her daughter that she had been in and out of consciousness and had woken in a pool of blood.

Mr Hedworth told the court in Newcastle how the pair had been in a relationship for around 11 or 12 years.

He said that on October 9 last year, the woman visited A&E with an injury to her lip and said she had been punched between five and seven times days earlier.

On October 16 she visited hospital again with bruising across her cheek and a large cut on her forehead, which she said had been caused the previous week.

During a third hospital visit, she attended with a fracture to her right eye. She eventually said that her partner had assaulted her by hitting her across the head with a pool cue and poked her in the eye.

The court heard how the woman said she had been with Jopling for 11 years and always ended up getting back with him. She said she was scared that he would kill her in her sleep.

The following day, Jopling was cautioned and arrested by police. While he was being arrested, he told his partner: "I'll be battering you and I'll hold my hands up to it."

Jopling, of Bunyan Avenue, South Shields, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm (GBH) and two counts of assault by beating.

Robin Turton, defending, told the court: "He clearly has an underlining issues in relation to his ability to cope in a relationship. He's unable to manage his emotions and his consumption of alcohol."

He said the woman has been visiting Jopling in prison while he has been on remand. He said: "Sending him to prison won't deal with these matters. It's little doubt, and no great surprise, that (the victim) has returned back to the defendant, but that is her choice."

He urged Recorder Andrew Latimer to take into account Jopling's guilty plea and the time he has served on remand. The court heard how the defendant also has a brain injury and suffers from seizures.

Recorder Latimer told Jopling that he had committed three assaults in the same month. He said: "The last one caused lasting damage. That's a permanent reminder of the domestic violence you used against your own partner.

"The police arrived the next morning and that morning, at your home, you made an extra threat - 'I'll be battering you and I'll hold my hands up to it'. Even as you were being taken away by police you were threatening violence towards her."

Jopling was sentenced to two years and eight months behind bars.