Jealous thug beat girlfriend for talking to man at her birthday party

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A jealous thug punched his girlfriend at her 30th birthday party when thought she was flirting with other men.

But the brutal assault was one of several dished out by Gareth Barnes who smashed her head against a door frame and repeatedly rammed her head into a car dashboard when he became angry.

The 37-year-old was jailed for three years at Leeds Crown Court this week after he admitted two counts of ABH, one of GBH with intent and a charge of careless driving after he crashed following one of the attacks on the woman.

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Prosecuting the case, Philip Standfast said during the woman's birthday celebrations on April 21, 2021, Barnes became jealous that she was talking to another man. In the car on the way home be banged her head against the window, and when they got home, punched her in the face.

Around four months later, Barnes returned home in the early hours after a night of drinking and fell asleep. The woman tried to wake him but was not able to, so she poured water over his head. He then flew into a rage and began beating her.

She pleaded with him to stop but he then banged her head off a door frame. She suffered a broken nose, a chipped tooth, a black eye and bruising across her face. The woman later said it was "the worst beating of her life and she thought she was going to die".

On May 3 last year, gas engineer Barnes had been drinking through the day but drove the woman and her friend home from the pub. He lost his temper and began slamming her head off the dashboard "multiple times". He hit her so hard that she lost consciousness.

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When she came round, she and her friend tried to get out and flee the car, but Barnes also got out and chased her down. He grabbed her and banged her head on the pavement. Horrified witnesses shouted at him to stop and told them they had called the police.

Barnes got back into his Vauxhall Astra and drove off, but crashed into a Skoda a short time later. He got out and ran. The Skoda driver and passenger needed hospital treatment. Police later found Barnes' DNA on the airbag that was activated in the smash.

Barnes, of Toll Bar Road in Castleford, has nine previous convictions for 14 offences, including an ABH from 2019 for which he was given a six-month suspended sentence.

Barnes was jailed for a series of attacks on his partner. (pic by WYP / National World)Barnes was jailed for a series of attacks on his partner. (pic by WYP / National World)
Barnes was jailed for a series of attacks on his partner. (pic by WYP / National World) | WYP / National World

Mitigating, Samreen Akhtar said that the father-of-two suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but acknowledged jail was inevitable. He has been held on remand since his arrest in May last year.

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She said: "Clearly there's no other alternative than immediate custody, given his poor compliance with probation in the past. It's aggravated by his previous convictions for violent offences. They were in a relationship that had its ups and downs, but it was exacerbated by drink and drugs. He deeply regrets his actions and accepts the Crown's case in full."

Jailing him, Tom Bayliss KC said: "It was a toxic relationship. The reason, it seems to me, is because you are a jealous and occasionally violent man." As well as his jail sentence, he was given an indefinite-length restraining order.

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