Ben Smith jailed and told to 'grow up' after punching ex-partner
VIOLENT dad Ben Smith has been jailed for 16 months for climbing through his ex-partner's window, pinning her to the floor and punching her.
Judge Jamie Tabor QC told the 23-year-old it was "time to grow up" after he assaulted his ex-partner in the house they used to share.
The father-of-three of Seabright Close, Cheltenham, had been convicted of assault after an earlier trial at Cheltenham Magistrates' Court and had also admitted a charge of harassment. Magistrates had committed him to Gloucester Crown Court for sentence.
Nick Fridd, prosecuting, said Smith's ex-partner of six years had been at home in Gloucester on August 1 when she heard noises upstairs. She discovered Smith had let himself in through a window.
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She asked him to leave, but he pinned her to the floor, punched her and bit her on the finger before she managed to escape and fled to a neighbour's house where the police were called.
Joe Maloney, defending, said Smith was concerned he was unable to have contact with his young children. He had a number of difficulties and he understood that he had to address these issues, Mr Maloney said.
Smith had "very real support" from his family, said Mr Maloney. He passed letters from his parents and his sister, Samantha, to the court.
"He realises that he has to grow up," Mr Maloney added.
Judge Tabor told Smith that he came from a strong family and they, along with the pre-sentence report, pointed to the fact that this 'nasty behaviour' stemmed from his cannabis use. "I agree with Mr Maloney, it is time for you to grow up," he said. He added: "I'm quite prepared to accept that you are a decent young man when you are not taking drugs."
But the judge said the behaviour he had exhibited towards his ex-partner was outrageous.
He invoked a previous 12-month suspended jail term, imposed for an earlier drugs-related offence, and added four months in prison to run consecutively for the assault charge.
He imposed a restraining order preventing Smith from seeing his children for seven years – except with the agreement of solicitors, social workers or parents. Smith spent 34 days in custody on remand and this time will be deducted from his 16 months sentence.
The court heard Smith had previous convictions for harassment, burglary, dishonesty, producing cannabis and breaching community orders.