Thug locked up for drunken attack

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A THUG who battered his girlfriend unconcious in a vicious street attack was locked up yesterday despite her pleading for him to be spared jail.

Drink and drug-fuelled Anthony Blades, 23, stamped on the head of Angela Homan before raining punches and kicks on her as she cowered on the ground.

Blades told police that he had taken drugs and had drank up to 16 pints with chasers before he attacked Ms Homan as they walked home from a pub late at night.

Residents in Low Grange Avenue, in Billingham, left their homes after hearing her screams and they saw Blades stamping on her head and kicking her.

A woman neighbour saw the mother-of-three on all fours and Blades walking away before he returned and continued the attack by slapping, punching, kicking and stamping on her head leaving her unconscious, said prosecutor Richard Wilson.

Despite the brutality of her attack, Ms Homan provided police with a retraction statement five weeks later saying that she did not want the case to proceed against him, and in July she told a detective that she wanted him to be given a suspended sentence so that he could receive treatment for his drink and drug abuse.

A judge at Teesside Crown Court told Blades that the message had to go out that behaviour like his would not be tolerated.

Mr Wilson added that a bag of cocaine was found on Blades, and some cannabis was also seized from him.

When Blades was asked how he would describe his drunkenness on a scale of 1 to 10, he said “12”.

When he was shown photographs of her injuries, he broke down and he said that he was “disgusted” with himself.

Graham Brown, defending, said that Ms Homan made it plain in her retraction statement that he had never been violent towards her before.

Mr Brown told the judge: “This was a disgraceful incident for which no explanation can be put before you.

“He needs a greater understanding of his own behaviour and the opportunity to continue as a useful member of society so that he can discharge all the responsibilities that he has, and his girlfriend does not want him to go to prison.

She would rather have a suspended sentence so that he has to stay out of trouble.”

Judge Michael Taylor told Blades: “Despite your hitherto good character, you have good employment and your partner does not want you to go to prison, the message must go out that sustained attacks of this sort in the street, the use of a foot as a weapon, will not be tolerated.”

Blades, of Pennington Close, Billingham, was jailed for 21 months after he pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm on June 11.