24th Oct, 2020

Rugby man threw pregnant partner down stairs during 'horrendously frightening' attack

Correspondent 27th Feb, 2017

A VICIOUS man threw his eight-months pregnant partner down the stairs with such force she did not touch any of them on the way down, then kicked her in the stomach and stamped on her head – all because he believed she had been unfaithful.

Samuel Johnson, 44, of Norman Road, Rugby, was jailed for six years after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm on his victim, from whom he is now separated.

A judge heard the birth had to be induced early as a result of the attack – but mercifully the baby was unaffected.

Johnson was also given a consecutive eight-month sentence for an offence of affray at the victim’s brother’s home shortly after his attack on her, which he also admitted.

Prosecutor Justin Jarmola said the first victim had been Johnson’s ‘on-off partner’ for a number of years, and at the time of the incident in December last year was eight months pregnant with their third child.

Johnson woke her at 3am alleging infidelity, punched her and started strangling her.

They went downstairs where he got a kitchen knife. She fled upstairs in terror, but he got her by the hair.

He held the knife to her throat, punched her, and threw her down the stairs.

He then kicked her in the stomach and stamped on her head.

She was then dragged outside where he plunged the knife into the ground next to her.

Johnson then went to the home of one of her brothers, where another of her brothers was also present.

Johnson threatened to stab the first brother, and in a panic both brothers fled barefoot from the house, climbing fences into other gardens to get away.

Johnson got into his car and drove away, but ‘a few days later, to his credit, hands himself in at Rugby police station,’ said Mr Jarmola.

The court heard Johnson was ‘no stranger to violence,’ and his convictions even included one for a ‘domestic violence offence’ in Spain.

Mr Jarmola added the birth of the baby had to be induced early to ensure there were no complications, ‘and mercifully there were not.’

Tim Harrington, defending, said: “He knows the sentence here will be a custodial one of some significance. He is deeply sorry. He can’t believe what he did, and he is ashamed.

“Since then, he has done all he can to put things right, first by handing himself in and admitting what he could remember, and then by pleading guilty at the first opportunity.”

Mr Harrington said the incident took place at a time when Johnson, whose last prison sentence was 16 years ago, was ‘at his lowest ebb.’

His business had failed, one of his two sisters had committed suicide some years ago, and he lost the other one around a year ago.

His mother then died a few days before the incident, and he had gone on a binge of drink and drugs, said Mr Harrington, who added: “Rather tragically, today would have been her birthday.”

Recorder David Chinery told Johnson: “I don’t doubt you have had a considerable time to reflect on the events of that night and have taken some steps to deal with some of the difficulties you have.

“But the reality is that you woke your former partner in a way which was horrendously frightening and began a sustained attack on a lady who was eight months pregnant.

“That attack included brandishing a knife to her, kicking her in the stomach and throwing her downstairs with such force that she didn’t touch any of the stairs.

“Mercifully there was no serious injury, but the child had to be induced – but, again mercifully, appears to have been uninjured.”

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