Grinning Hartlepool thug cracked girlfriend’s skull in front of child

Teesside Crown Court
Teesside Crown Court

A thug fractured his girlfriend’s skull when he threw a piggy bank at her in front of a two-year-old child when she tried to end the relationship.

Andrew Foulds, 24, reacted to his girlfriend throwing a holdall at him to tell him to pack his bags by hurling the ceramic money pot at her.

She made it clear to you she wanted you out of her life. Instead of accepting the situation you took to violence.

Recorder Eric Elliott QC

A scan at hospital revealed he had fractured her skull as well as causing a deep cut that has left a scar.

But window cleaner Foulds walked free from court grinning after he was spared immediate jail for the “one off” assault.

He pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding on the day he was due to stand trial last month and was sentenced at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.

The court heard how an argument developed when the victim told him their six-month relationship was over and he threw the piggy bank at her on October 20 last year.

Graeme Gaston, prosecuting, said: “She was sorting out clothes with a view to ending the relationship when she felt a blow to the left side of her head.

“She saw a ceramic piggy bank shattered on the floor and realised it must have been the item used to cause the blow.

“The defendant admitted in his police interview his two-year-old daughter was in the room at the same time.”

As well as the fractured skull, the blow also caused a bone-deep cut which needed stitches, temporary loss of feeling to the left side of her head and bruising and swelling.

In a statement read in court she said she felt embarrassed by the scar she has been left with and has moved out of the area to get away from Foulds.

Jim Withyman, mitigating, said Foulds, who had no previous convictions, was a hard working man.

He said: “He is a decent young man who made one foolish mistake by hurling this item towards his girlfriend, she having thrown something at him.

“He regrets it to this day.”

The judge, Recorder Eric Elliott QC, said: “She made it clear to you she wanted you out of her life. Instead of accepting the situation you took to violence.

“An offence of this nature does call for imprisonment.”

But he added: “I do find this was a complete one off incident. It seems to me I am able to suspend the sentence of imprisonment.”

Foulds, of Brierton Lane, Hartlepool, was given 15 months prison, suspended for two years with supervision, a restraining order and 150 hours of unpaid work.