A BUILDER has been spared jail after he kicked a garden gnome at his girlfriend's head in temper, a court heard.
Terrified Patricia Young fled bleeding from the head after drunken ex-partner Michael Wishart launched the garden ornament down the garden path of the couple’s Chester home after a row.
Wishart, 45, of Keats Terrace, Blacon, admitted assault when he appeared before Chester Crown Court yesterday, but said although he acted recklessly, he never meant to harm his former partner of six years.
The couple had been drinking at home when tensions rose and Wishart became abusive. As Ms Young tried to leave the house, Wishart told her he would kill her, prosecutor Jo Maxwell said.
As Ms Young attempted to open the garden gate, Wishart kicked the gnome directly at her head, sending the ornament crashing to the floor. Wishart ran to pick Ms Young up and told her: “I did not mean to hurt you.” However, she fled and called for police and an ambulance.
Ms Maxwell said: “Ms Young was struck to the right side of her head and she had blood running down her head. Afterwards the defendant was heard to shout, “I will get a knife and I will kick off”.
Wishart had drunk 10 cans of lager on the evening of the April 4 assault, the court heard. The offence also meant he was in breach of a two year conditional discharge imposed on him in September 2012 for violence. He also pleaded guilty to the breach charge.
James Bagby, defending, said Wishart accepted his behaviour was reckless, and although it involved the use of a weapon, he had not meant to cause injury to Ms Young.
“Alcohol has an effect on Mr Wishart’s behaviour,” said Mr Bagby.
Sentencing him to six months in prison, suspended for two years, the Recorder of Chester, Judge Elgan Edwards told Wishart: “Before Mr Bagby’s very eloquent plea, I was thinking of imposing an immediate prison sentence, but Mr Bagby saved you from that.
“This kind of conduct and bad temper has got to stop. I accept you did not mean to cause harm but this poor lady was nastily injured by an object such as the garden gnome.”
Wishart was also made the subject of a five-year restraining order preventing him from contacting Ms Young and was told to pay her £500 in compensation.
See full story in the Chester Leader