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Attacker spared jail sentence after beating battle with the bottle

PUBLISHED: 06:00 04 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:10 02 July 2010

Rob Garratt

A city man who assaulted his partner three times has been spared a jail sentence after telling magistrates he has beaten a battle with the bottle.

Terrence Dale has spent the last month in the cells following a string of assaults against the woman that culminated in a threatening phone call.

A city man who assaulted his partner three times has been spared a jail sentence after telling magistrates he has beaten a battle with the bottle.

Terrence Dale has spent the last month in the cells following a string of assaults against the woman that culminated in a threatening phone call.

But Norwich Magistrates Court decide not to impose a custodial sentence on Thursday after hearing that his four weeks inside had forced him to break his alcohol dependency that was behind the incidents.

Terrence Dale, 23, attacked his partner on three separate occasions, leading to the relationship breaking down earlier in the year.

The first incident saw him grabbing the woman in front of her children, aged six and 10, on August 9 and the couple initially broke up.

But the court heard that the victim took pity on Dale and let him live in her shed before a second assault, late at night on September 18, where the victim's fingernail was torn off.

The next morning Dale tried to steal the woman's house keys and lock her in, and when she tried to get them back he throttled her and punched her in the face.

After initially pleading not guilty to three charges of common assault Dale, of College Road, Earlham, was set to stand trial on November 19, but changed his plea on the day.

Dale was dealt a non-molestation order banning him from contacting the woman, but on November 26 he broke the order and called her, abusively demanding what she was doing that evening, and she informed the police.

A day later he called again, saying “do you think you're funny stitching me up to the police? You're going to get what's coming to you, I swear on my nan's ashes.”

Dale, who has £819 in outstanding fines owed to the court, was arrested and put in custody until Thursday's hearing, where he admitted a fourth charge of breaking the order.

He was sentenced to complete 180 hours of unpaid work, complete a 24-month supervision order and to complete an offenders substance abuse programme.

A victim statement from the woman read in court said: “I was in great pain. My confidence has been shattered since the attacks and I can't sleep at night. I hope Terry gets sent to prison for what he's done to me.”

The couple began their relationship in Northampton in March 2008, moving to Norwich eight months later.

In mitigation Ryan Creek told the court how Dale's offending was driven by an alcohol dependency that has dried up while he has been behind bars.

He added: “He was in a relationship that should have ended a long time ago, now he just wants to get on with a crime-free life.”

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