Man jailed for attacking ex-girlfriend after row

The statue of Lady Justice on the roof of the Old Bailey in London. ‘Those accused of serious crimes

The statue of Lady Justice on the roof of the Old Bailey in London. Those accused of serious crimes need proper legal representation. Without realistic levels of legal aid there will be serious miscarriages of justice. Picture: Charles D P Miller - Credit: Archant

A Colchester man who punched his former partner in the face and bit her on the back has been jailed for 15 months.

Benjamin Doherty and Sophie Manktelow had been in a volatile on and off relationship for four years, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

In March he was banned by a court from contacting her after he assaulted her.

However in July Miss Manktelow had been drinking at a house with friends, including Doherty, which placed him in breach of the restraining order, said Christopher Paxton, prosecuting.

Doherty became upset at a comment made by one of the group about a former partner of Miss Manktelow.

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An argument ensued between Miss Manktelow and Doherty during which he punched her in the face.

The couple left the property and the argument continued in Colchester town centre where Doherty pushed Miss Manktelow from behind and bit her on the back.

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Seeing what was happening a man ran out from a nearby property and told Doherty the police had been called, causing him to run off.

The court heard that in March Doherty was given a suspended prison sentence for battery on Miss Manktelow and assaulting three policemen.

Doherty, 25, of Linden Close, Colchester, admitted assaulting Miss Manktelow causing her actual bodily harm and breaching a restraining order and a suspended sentence order.

Jailing him on Wednesday for 15 months, Judge Rupert Overbury said anyone who breached a court order passed to prevent further instances of domestic violence and then went on to commit a further offence of domestic violence couldn’t complain if they were given a prison sentence.

Gavin Capper, for Doherty, described the relationship between his client and Miss Manktelow as “toxic”.

“He became upset and behaved in a completely inappropriate manner,” said Mr Capper.

He said despite the restraining order banning him from contacting her she had gone to his home and the relationship had continued.

Mr Capper said Doherty was ashamed of the way he behaved to Miss Manktelow and had been trying to address his anger issues.

He accepted there was no future with Miss Manktelow and was hoping to move to Wiltshire.

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