Norwich woman assaulted following Halloween party

A woman was assaulted by her former partner following a Halloween party at his house, a court has heard.

Andrew Pritchard, 28, appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to one charge of assault by beating on October 31 last year and another offence of common assault on February 2.

Robert Barnwell, prosecuting, said Pritchard, of Gertrude Road, off Sprowston Road, Norwich, and the complainant, who had two children, had been in a relationship for about seven years until March last year.

Mr Barnwell said the first assault happened after the complainant attended a Halloween party. He said: 'At about 1am on Sunday, October 31 she left the party to get away from the fact he was there. He followed her, they became engaged in an argument on the street and he grabbed her by the wrist and pinned her up against a fence.'

When interviewed, Pritchard said he did assault her, but only to get a phone from her to prove she was cheating on him.

On February 2, the defendant turned up at the Chinese takeaway where the complainant worked and when he was asked to leave by her he slapped her in the face.

Arthur Balls, mitigating, said Pritchard 'found it difficult to come to terms with the end of the relationship'. He said: 'Emotions were perhaps running high, she was texting during the evening, introduce an element of jealousy and all of a sudden he's in a position where he's losing the relationship and losing the family.'

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Mr Balls said the sum total of the first assault was 'a grabbing of the wrists' while the second assault constituted a slap, not a punch or a kick.

Pritchard was sentenced to a community order for 12 months concurrent for both offences with a low alcohol specified requirement. He was also ordered to undertake 150 hours unpaid work and made the subject of a restraining order banning him from contacting the complainant directly or indirectly save through her mother to organise childcare arrangements.

The Evening News' Don't Suffer in Silence campaign aims to highlight the problem of domestic violence and the plight of thousands of victims.

Do you have a story to tell after escaping an abusive partner? Contact crime correspondent Ben Kendall on 01603 772423 or email