08:00 Monday 07 January 2013

'Stalker' beat new partner in bedroom assault

Written byJOSHUA TAYLOR

A JEALOUS 'stalker' launched a vicious attack after discovering a new man in his ex-partner's bed.

Burton Magistrates Court
Burton Magistrates' Court

Benjamin Cousins took up to five punches to the face and chest after being dragged to the floor by John Maher.

Gala Godfrey, who had recently ended her five-year relationship with Maher, screamed with terror and tried to end the attack but was pushed aside.

The unemployed thug has now been jailed for three months after he admitted two assaults and forcing down the door to Miss Godfrey's flat in Osborne Street, Winshill.

In a statement read out at Burton Magistrates' Court, Miss Godfrey said: "He (Maher) will not let me get on with my life. I feel like he has harassed me and stalked me. I feel like I have been living in fear since I broke up with him."

The court heard the 34-year-old arrived at is ex-partner's home at 2.30am on October 5 last year and began banging on the windows and front door.

He eventually forced his way in and attacked Mr Cousins after discovering him in the bedroom. Maher pushed Miss Godfrey as she tried to restrain him, causing a bruise to her abdomen.

Prosecutor Alka Marsden said: "Mr Cousins was left with swelling to his forehead, a cut to the chin and a lasting headache. Afterwards, Gala Godfrey did not feel safe in her flat."

The court said it had no option but to send Maher to prison. Magistrate Paul McCafferey told the crook: "You forced entry during the early hours.

"Mr Cousins was dragged from bed and Miss Godfrey was assaulted in her own home where she was entitled to feel safe. This was a sustained attack."

Magistrates also imposed a restraining order, making it illegal for Maher to contact his ex-partner when he is released from prison.

Adrian Pearce, defending, said: "My client had difficulties accepting the relationship was over. The victims' injuries are at the lower end of the spectrum."

Mr Pearce said Maher, more recently of Empire Road, Winshill, had gone to his ex-girlfriend's flat to collect belongings but had given 'no consideration' to the fact it was 2.30am.

"He was somewhat shocked to walk in and find another male in the bed," the solicitor added. "He didn't think about the consequences of his actions."

Maher pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Cousins and violent entry, but initially denied assaulting Miss Godfrey. He changed his plea the day the case was due for trial.

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