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Bury St Edmunds: Woman was assaulted by her partner after being locked in her home over a row about Facebook

06:00 18 January 2014

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A man who locked his partner in her home and assaulted her after a row about her contacting another man on social networking website Facebook has walked free from court after being given a suspended prison sentence.

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Thessalia Rose, 56, told Robert Agostini she did not want any further contact with him but the following day he had turned up at her home and had stood outside shouting at her to let him in, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Ms Rose had reluctantly let him in through the back door and Agostini had immediately closed the door and removed the keys, said Richard Kelly, prosecuting.

Agositini, 49, of Prospect Row, Bury St Edmunds, then made sure the front door was locked and during the argument that followed, he pushed Ms Rose in the face causing injuries, said Mr Kelly.

When Ms Rose threatened to call the police Agostini warned her against it and had then tipped a glass of water over her computer and threw a houseplant.

He had also pulled the telephone wire out of the wall and had unlocked the front door and left, locking the door behind him and taking the keys, said Mr Kelly.

Ms Rose had been “extremely distressed” and was unable to climb out of a window because of problems with her back.

When police arrived an officer climbed into the house through a window and contacted a housing association to get replacement keys.

Agostini admitted damaging property, theft and assaulting Ms Rose in September last year.

He was given a 34 week prison sentence suspended for 24 months and a 24 month supervision order.

He was also ordered to attend a Better Relationships programme and made the subject of a restraining order banning him from contacting Ms Rose or going to the Howard Estate in Bury St Edmunds where Ms Rose lives.

The court heard that Agostini and Ms Rose had been in a volatile relationship which had ended more than three years ago.

Agostini had contacted Ms Rose again in September after his partner was killed in a house fire last summer and Ms Rose had agreed to resume their relationship because he appeared to be a “changed character” from when they were previously together.

However, on September 20 there had been a row after Agostini discovered that Ms Rose had been in contact with another man on Facebook and had given him her mobile phone number.

Although Agostini left the house when asked to do so by Ms Rose, she had told him she did not want any further contact with him after he sent her a number of abusive text messages. However, he had turned up the next day shouting at her to let him in.

David Wilson, for Agostini, said he had been in custody since September and accepted the relationship with Ms Rose was over.

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