Long Lawford man attacks partner in front of baby

MHBG-10-01-13 Leamington Spa Magistrates Court''Justice Centre, Newbold Terrrace, Leamington Spa,Warwickshire .'Picture By: Jass Lall.
MHBG-10-01-13 Leamington Spa Magistrates Court''Justice Centre, Newbold Terrrace, Leamington Spa,Warwickshire .'Picture By: Jass Lall.

A Long Lawford man woke his girlfriend in the middle of the night to launch a vicious assault on her – and then attacked her again as she was holding their baby.

Frankie Southam received a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of assault.

Southam, of Round Avenue, Long Lawford, was sentenced to 42 weeks in prison suspended for two years, with supervision for the whole period and programmes including drug rehabilitation.

Recorder Kevin Hegarty QC imposed a restraining order banning the 21-year-old from contacting the victim or going to her home.

Prosecutor Trevor Meegan pointed out that Southam had originally denied the charges, but changed his pleas to guilty after the victim turned up to give evidence on the second day of his trial.

Both assaults took place on January 16 after the couple, who had a nine-month-old son, had got back together after splitting up in October.

Southam was spending the night at the victim’s home in Wolston when, before going to bed, they argued about his accusations that she had been seeing another man.

At two in the morning she was woken by him repeatedly tapping her on the head with his mobile phone.

When she woke, Southam continued hitting her to the head, then sat on top of her and began punching her legs.

She picked their son up after the attack and Southam took him from her.

He then grabbed her by her hair, pulled her from the bed, punched her and grabbed her by the throat, before finally stopping his assault.

Later that morning he dragged her off the bed, causing her and the baby to fall to the floor.

She managed to get away and ran to the bathroom where she locked herself in and sent a text asking her mother to call the police.

When Southam, who had a previous conviction for inflicting grievous bodily harm, was arrested he denied the assaults and blamed another man for her injuries.

Michael Anning, defending, said: “This was a substantial assault over a period of time.

“He is a young man, perhaps too young for the responsibilities he had as a father and the relationship he was trying to forge with the victim.

“What happened on January 16 was the final act in what had been a difficult relationship.

“He was suffering from depression at the time.

“He had been receiving treatment for that since the time of the initial separation.”

Sentencing Southam, Recorder Hegarty said: “You set about assaulting the mother of your child.

“During that time that young woman was thinking not only of her own safety but the safety of her young baby.

“The matter is aggravated by your previous conviction and by the location of the offence, in that that young woman was entitled to feel safe in her home with her young baby.

“It is also aggravated by the fact that the assault took place in front of that young child, and by the fact that that young woman is no longer able to live at that address because of the upset you caused.”