Warrant issued for arrest of attacker

A WARRANT has been issued for the arrest of a man who fled court just minutes before he was due to be sentenced for attacking his partner.

John Clarkson was convicted of launching a vicious attack on his then-partner, Patricia Moore, just hours after wringing a rabbit’s neck.

Peterlee Magistrates’ Court was told Clarkson had downed eight to 10 cans before he rained punches down on Ms Moore, pulled her hair and shouted: “I will claw your eyes out”.

The 51-year-old was found guilty in his absence of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and assault by beating on May 4.

Magistrates heard Clarkson attacked Ms Moore at the home he shares with his terminally-ill mother in Westmoreland Rise, Peterlee.

Prosecutor Heather Wilkinson said an argument flared when Ms Moore wanted to go home, but Clarkson, who was drunk, would not give her her car keys.

The court heard Ms Moore was pushed on to a sofa and Clarkson shouted at her “you’re not going anywhere” before grabbing hold of her hair and repeatedly punching her in the face.

Ms Wilkinson added: “She said the blows rained down on her face and head and he pulled her hair and was trying to grab at her eyes.”

She eventually managed to escape, but the court was told he followed her and continued punching her until she fell to the ground.

She got away before phoning a friend to pick her up.

Clarkson, who has suffered from cancer and only has one lung, also previously admitted driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and driving with excess alcohol, namely 218 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, in Wolviston Road, Billingham on April 24.

Jaxon Taylor, mitigating, said: “He does accept that there was an unpleasant incident that took place on May 4.

“He accepts that he was ultimately responsible for killing the rabbit.

“But he would say it was the most humane thing to do in all the circumstances.”

Magistrates left the court to consider sentencing, but on their return it emerged that Clarkson had left the building and a warrant for his arrest was issued.