Jail for man who beat up girlfriend

A Burnley man has been jailed for 17 months after beating his former partner and threatening to kill her.

Christopher Horsfall (S)
Christopher Horsfall (S)

Christopher Horsfall (22), of Swallow Park, Burnley, assaulted ex-girlfriend Carla Wilkinson and put her in fear of violence over between February and March this year, Burnley Crown Court was told.

Horsfall had admitted two counts of assault by beating, one of putting a person in fear of violence and one of breaching a restraining order against Miss Wilkinson when both restarted their relationship.

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During the sentencing hearing, Judge Beverly Lunt slammed the level of charges as “ridiculous undercharging” and “unacceptable”.

Joseph Allman (prosecuting) told the court the couple resumed their relationship in January and were living in The Crescent, Colne. On February 6th, Miss Wilkinson had gone to a friend’s home and two other men were there when Horsfall arrived wanting money to buy heroin, the court was told.

Mr Allman said Horsfall became angry and made Miss Wilkinson leave and, on the way home, hit her in the face. At home, the violence continued, the court heard, when Horsfall kicked her, took her mobile phone so she could not call the police and hit her with a dog lead.

Miss Wilkinson made a statement to police on February 10th, the court was told, and Horsfall found out about it.

The same day, the court heard, he had broken into Miss Wilkinson’s flat which was being minded by her cousin as she stayed elsewhere.

Horsfall phoned her and falsely told her he was holding a knife to her cousin’s throat and threatened to kill her, her family and her dog.

Mr Allman told the court that, in another conversation, Miss Wilkinson told Horsfall where she was staying. The court heard Horsfall walked straight into the accommodation, slapped her and made her call police to retract her statement,

The court heard they went to Cleveland Street, Colne, where Horsfall assaulted her with a pole and said he would kill her if she contacted the police.

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On February 14th, Mr Allman said Miss Wilkinson returned home from work to find Horsfall under the influence of drugs. She called a taxi but Horsfall followed her into it and punched her, the court was told.

Mr Allman said the couple went back to the house where he punched her to the face, arms and head, pulled her hair and kneed her in the face.

Days later, the court heard Horsfall kicked her in the back and threatened to paralyse her.

Horsfall had 24 convictions for 66 offences.

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Richard Taylor (defending) described the restarting of Horsfall and Miss Wilkinson’s relationship as “a disaster” adding “petty wranglings led to serious incidents”.

Mr Taylor said Horsfall’s drug use had got “out of control” but Horsfall was keen to become a better and stronger person. Mr Taylor added: “He has got a lot of growing up to do and he knows that.”

Sentencing, Judge Beverly Lunt said Horsfall was guilty of “nasty, nasty behaviour” and had shown a “worrying lack of remorse”.

He was handed a restraining order until further notice to stop him entering locations in Colne and Nelson.