JAILED: Thug launched horror attack on girlfriend after four-day bender

Christopher Horsfall (S)
Christopher Horsfall (S)
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A crazed thug who launched a vicious attack on his partner in a Colne car park produced a knife and threatened to stab staff who came out of a nearby pub to try to help her, a court heard.

Sigourney Millward had been floored by Christopher Horsfall, who dragged her across the ground, rained kicks and punches on her, booted her in the head and sank his teeth into her back, Burnley Crown Court was told.

He had been on a four-day bender. A combination of alcohol and drugs had undoubtedly fuelled him to behave in the way he behaved


Stacey Owens and glass collector Dominic Comerford, who worked at the nearby Union Exchange pub in Market Street, both went to the car park in a bid to stop the savage onslaught. Horsfall lunged at them with the knife, coming within two feet of Miss Owens and threatened he was going to “blade” them both. He then tried to escape as police arrived, but was detained.

The court heard heroin addict Horsfall, who has almost 70 offences on his record at the age of just 23, had been on a four-day “bender” of drugs and drink before the beating in October and was convinced a bouncer at the pub had been trying to take his girlfriend out.

Shocking CCTV footage of Horsfall repeatedly striking the victim was played at the hearing. Judge Beverley Lunt described the violence as vicious and said: “She is just like a rag doll.”

The defendant, who has lived in Burnley and Colne, but is currently of no fixed address, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and possessing a bladed article and was locked up for 34-and-half-months.

In April 2014, the jealous bully was caged for 17 months, after he subjected his former partner to a terror campaign in which he attacked her, threatened to kill her and to harm her family and even her dog.

He had been subject to a restraining order imposed to protect his ex-girlfriend Carla Wilkinson, with whom he had had an on/off relationship. But the pair reconciled, he meted out more violence – including on Valentine’s Day – and on one occasion wielded a hammer, telling her he was going to paralyse her, the court was at that time told.

Mark Stuart (defending) said: “He’s 23, he’s got a bad record and at the moment, he seems to be going from custody, out for a short period of time and back to custody.”

The barrister continued: “He had been on a four-day bender. A combination of alcohol and drugs had undoubtedly fuelled him to behave in the way he behaved.”

Mr Stuart said the defendant, who had been on courses since being remanded in custody, was saying now he didn’t want to live the rest of his life the way he had been doing. Even with a history of violence and drugs, he had the prospect of “turning it round”.

He added: “He’s wholly aware that he has got difficulties. He’s aware that he needs a considerable amount of help. He will take any help he can get, both inside and outside prison.”

Judge Lunt said the attack on Miss Millward “couldn’t be more sustained and repeated”. The judge, who said the only possible sentence was prison, added: “It’s amazing she wasn’t more seriously hurt.”