'Cruel, manipulative, calculating and violent' man jailed for assault on former partner

Francis Smart

Francis Smart - Credit: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

The “besotted” former partner of a west Suffolk mother-of-three who assaulted her after letting himself into her home while she was in bed has been jailed for 28 months.

Sentencing 46-year-old Francis Smart, Judge Emma Peters described his behaviour towards the woman as “cruel, manipulative, calculating and violent”.

She said that in addition to assaulting the woman Smart had sent her ranting “hate filled” text messages blaming her for everything that had gone wrong in his life.

“This is classic domestic abuse behaviour,” said the judge.

“You were besotted with her and realising the relationship was coming to an end you weren’t prepared to accept it,” said the judge.

She said Smart had been “punching above his weight” with a beautiful younger woman.

In addition to jailing Smart Judge Peters banned him from contacting the woman.

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Smart, 46, of Barnold Drive, Waterbeach, had denied making a threat to kill, assault causing actual bodily harm and assault by beating.

However, he had changed his plea on the charge of assault causing actual bodily harm to guilty and the prosecution agreed not to proceed with the other two charges.

Smart had earlier admitted sending malicious communications with intent to cause distress to his former partner, from Kennett, near Newmarket.

The court heard the couple had been in a relationship which “had its ups and downs” between 2012 and 2019.

By February 4, 2019, they had separated and Smart wasn’t living with the victim and their children.

Smart had continued to help out with the children and had been given a key to his former partner’s flat.

However, the weekend before the offences there was an argument between them and Smart had been asked to return the key.

Smart had let himself into the woman’s home at around 5.30am on February 4, 2019, while she was in bed and assaulted her

Jude Durr, for Smart, said his client had no previous convictions and  was ashamed and remorseful for the behaviour that had brought him before the court.

He accepted that the text messages sent by Smart to the victim were appalling.

“He was getting no response from her and that was driving him further and further into some sort of frenzy,” said Mr Durr.

He described Smart as a “Jilted John” and said he had been “utterly besotted” with the woman.

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