Kidderminster man viciously beat fiancee

A YOUNG Kidderminster father viciously beat up his fiancee after getting drunk at a Christmas works party and spending the night with another woman, a court heard.

Adam Gardiner, who ignored a request by his bride-to-be not to attend, eventually turned up the next morning, clad only his shirt and underpants.

In an argument with Kera Bennett, he took her upstairs, pinned her to a bed and punched her three times in the face, breaking both sides of her jaw.

The couple had been together for several years, had two young children, and were intending to marry, said Christopher Lester, prosecuting at Worcester Crown Court. The wedding had been called off since the incident.

Gardiner, 25, of Leswell Lane, Kidderminster, was jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Mr Lester said Gardiner worked with his father and there were two children aged 10 weeks and 16 months. Although her mother had agreed to babysit, Ms Bennett did not want to go to the works party and tried in vain to persuade her partner not to attend.

The party had gone well, Gardiner had been drinking heavily and it became apparent later that he wanted to go on to another club and drink more.

Meanwhile, his fiancee was at home becoming more and more worried, especially as he had switched off his mobile phone.

Next morning she learned he had gone to his parents' home. His father brought him round, dressed only in shirt and underpants.

When Ms Bennett demanded an explanation and wanted to know if he had been with another woman, she slapped him and tried to push him away. He retaliated by putting her in a headlock on the bed and punching her three times on the jaw.

Although the children had been downstairs, they would have heard the arguments and seen their mother come down with a mouth full of blood, said Mr Lester.

Ms Bennett had to undergo a five-hour operation when two metal plates were inserted into her jaw. That had made it difficult for her to talk and eat.

Amanda Tomkins, for Gardiner, submitted references and said he had taken steps to cure his alcohol problem. His behaviour on the night had been out of character and he was full of remorse.

He had lost his job and his family but he was concerned for his children's welfare. He still had contact with a previous partner who also had a child.

Judge Robert Juckes QC said Gardiner had two previous cautions for violence, which showed him the significance of failing to keep his emotions under control.

He had drunk to such an extent that he was unable to recall what had gone on during that night. During the attack on Ms Bennett the force of the blows had unhinged her jaw. The maximum sentence for inflicting serious injury was five years but the judge gave discount for an early guilty plea and his frank account to the police.

The judge was assured there was no chance of reconciliation so he made a restraining order to prevent Gardiner contacting the family for an indefinite time. He said Gardiner must serve nine months in custody and would be on licence for the rest of the sentence. He imposed a £120 victim impact surcharge.

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