A JEALOUS Rugby man burst into his former partner’s home after peering through the window and seeing her with another man and attacked her by biting her nose.
But Mal Cooper, who also attacked the man she was with, escaped jail ‘by a hair’s breadth’ when he appeared at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to assault and common assault.
The 56-year-old of Bilton Road, Rugby, who also admitted causing damage and possessing cannabis, was sentenced to 17 months in prison suspended for two years.
He was also made subject to his ‘own personal lockdown’ – an electronically-monitored 7pm to 7am curfew for six months, and ordered to take part in a Building Better Relationships programme.
Prosecutor Graeme Simpson said Cooper and his ex partner were in a relationship for three years, but it had become abusive by the time she ended it in September last year.
Cooper would not accept that it was over, and at the end of October he called her at her home in Banbury, asking her to come to Rugby to see him, and became abusive when she refused.
The following day he called her again a number of times, asking her to see him, but his ex again refused.
After calling her again asking if she was ready, Cooper turned up at her home and peered through the window, before barging his way in through an unlocked rear door.
He attacked a man who was with her, punching, kneeing and kicking him before he managed to get away and fled from the house before calling the police.
Cooper than pulled a shelf from the wall before grabbing his ex in a headlock and biting her nose, drawing blood.
He then left the house, but the police arrived, and when he was arrested nearby he had a small amount of cannabis on him.
Cooper claimed he must have bitten her by accident when they had their faces close together.
Mr Simpson added Cooper had previous convictions for violence, including assaults on a neighbour and a former partner, and harassment of another ex-partner.
Jonathan Coode, defending, said: “There was no premeditation to this offence. This was a crime of passion. He saw them cuddled up on the sofa when she had said she was alone.
“There are minor cuts to the nose, rather than serious injury, and there is no medical evidence to assist us.”
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC pointed out Cooper had spent 268 days on an electronically-tagged curfew, which would count as 134 days of any immediate custodial sentence.
And, observing that Cooper had a number of health issues, he indicated: “I am just minded that this is a sentence that I might suspend.”
Sentencing Cooper, the judge told him: “You have to understand, you have come within a hair’s breadth of immediate custody. As it is, you will have a further six months subject to your own personal lockdown.”