Man punched sister in a drunken assault
3:00pm Saturday 23rd February 2013 in Latest News
A MAN who repeatedly punched his sister then pushed her down the stairs in a drunken attack has been jailed for two and a half years.
Robert Baker, of Carstairs Avenue, Park South, knew his victim had reduced mobility as a result of an earlier back injury when he launched the attack in her own home.
And the 30-year-old also smashed in his 13-year-old niece’s bedroom door during the rage as she had been making a noise squabbling with his son.
The young girl was so terrified by her uncle's behaviour that she fled out of the first floor window before her mum was attacked on June 28.
Baker had gone to sister Leanne Godwin's house in Netherton Close, Park South, when, ironically, he should have been attending a domestic violence course for another offence.
Claire Marlow, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court they had been drinking in the garden with one of her female friends while their six children under 13 were inside.
By 9pm she said Baker was so intoxicated that his sister asked him to leave her house as he was getting angry about his former partner and custody of another child.
An argument started between his teenage niece and his 10-year-old son, and the girl went upstairs to her room.
Baker went after her and started banging on the door and shouting at her, before kicking it off its hinges.
Mrs Godwin and her friend followed and the pal tried to pull him away from the door before he lashed out at his sister thinking she had grabbed at him.
“He then, in response, turned round and seeing Mrs Godwin grabbed her by the hair and began to punch her in the face,” Miss Marlow said.
“He accepts he punched her a number of times. One witness said 20 another 10. He accepts he then pushed her.
“As a result Leanne Godwin fell down stairs and lost consciousness. Her face and mouth were covered in blood.”
The police were called and he was then involved in a scuffle with officers who were trying to stop him urinating in the street.
Miss Godwin was kept in hospital for two weeks suffering spinal chord concussion as a result of the fall.
Baker pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm and criminal damage.
The court heard he had previous convictions for assaulting his then partner and a few months before the incident was put on a community order.
Mike Pulsford, defending, said his client had been in custody since June and had time to sober up and was now full of remorse for what he had done.
Although he accepts he pushed her, he insists he hadn’t intended for her to go down the stairs when he did it. He said it was clear that his client needed to tackle his drinking and urged the court to allow him to tackle it in the community.
While he was inside he said his sister had been writing to him and it was clear she had forgiven him for what he did.
But, as well as jailing him, Judge Euan Ambrose also imposed a restraining order restricting his contact with his sister and her family.
He said: “The short answer to this case is that this behaviour and this offending is so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified.”