Woman feared her thumb would be bitten off by her partner during attack at her home in Leeds

A domestic violence victim feared her partner was going to bite off her thumb as he attacked her in a drug and drink-fuelled rage.

By Tony Gardner
Friday, 16th April 2021, 6:00 am

Billy McGurgan also broke his partner's nose as he carried out the assault at her home in Leeds in the early hours of January 17 this year.

Leeds Crown Court heard McGurgan and the woman had been in a relationship for eight years and have a child together.

The relationship broke down in 2019 but they got back together just before Christmas last year.

Leeds Crown Court

The attack happened after the couple had spent the evening drinking.

McGurgan, who had also been taking taking cocaine, became angry when the victim said she wanted to go to bed at 4.30am.

Nicoleta Alistari, prosecuting, said McGurgan threw a can of Heineken lager at her before grabbing hold of her right arm and biting down hard on her thumb.

The prosecutor said: "She thought he was going to bite her thumb off."

McGurgan, 26, then bit her right arm as she tried to protect herself.

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The woman followed McGurgan but was punched to the ground as she tried to get the phone back.

He then choked her until she struggled to breathe.

McGurgan destroyed the phone by repeatedly throwing it to the ground.

The victim went back into her home and contacted police.

McGurgan apologised to the woman but was arrested at the property when officers arrived.

She went to hospital where she had to have a broken nose reset

Ms Alistari said McGurgan was smiling and "appeared jovial" when he was taken to a police station.

The defendant told officers he had been drinking and using cocaine.

When interviewed about the attack McGurgan said he could remember arguing with the victim but could not recall using violence.

McGurgan, of Broad Lane, Bramley, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage.

Caroline Abraham, mitigating, said McGurgan has no previous convictions and pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage.

Ms Abraham said McGurgan had been in prison for almost three months since being arrested.

The barrister added: "The relationship is over and there is no prospect of the relationship being rekindled."

Judge Rodney Jameson QC gave McGurgan a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

McGurgan was also told he must complete 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days and take part in a 'building better relationships programme'.