A man who viciously attacked his ex-partner with a baseball bat in her own home and threatened to kill her has been branded a ‘dangerous offender’ and put behind bars.
Matthew Bonnell, of Robert Street, Accrington, was sentenced to seven years, four months in prison and an extra three years on licence after admitting assaulting his former girlfriend at her house on Chester Street in Accrington.
He pleaded guilty at Burnley Crown Court to aggravated burglary and trespass, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm with intent to commit grievous bodily harm.
Prosecuting, Stephen Parker told the court that the victim and Bonnell, 27, had been in a relationship but this had ended after he had become ‘moody’ and ‘verbally aggressive’, and she alleged he had assaulted her.
But he continued to text and call her using withheld numbers, ringing her ‘a dozen times’ two days before the attack at her home.
The court heard that at 10am on October 10, Bonnell came to the victim’s house carrying a suitcase and appeared ‘drugged up’.
Mr Parker said: “She shut the door on him and went back upstairs thinking that was the end of it.
“She heard the defendant smashing the glass, she heard the defendant shouting ‘get the police, I want to go to prison for killing you, I have been taking heroin all night because of you’.”
The victim rang the police, but Bonnell then went upstairs and attacked her with a baseball bat, saying ‘I am going to kill you, you bitch’.
Mr Parker said: “She lifted her arm up and turned away and he began hitting her back with the baseball bat shouting ‘I ******* hate you’.
“She said she was crying and screaming at him saying she couldn’t breathe. He began kicking her to the stomach. She was shouting ‘please stop’.
“He did stop and go downstairs and began smashing property.”
After cutting his thumb on broken glass, Bonnell returned to his victim asking her to help him because he believed he had ‘cut an artery’.
But the court heard he then began to assault her again, kicking and hitting her as she lay on the floor.
Mr Parker told the court she managed to run into a bedroom and he followed her shouting: ‘I have got petrol I’m going to burn your house down’.
When police arrived, Bonnell told them ‘I’ll ******* do you, come on’, and he was immediately hit with PAVA spray, an incapacitating device.
He was restrained and arrested at the scene, and then asked police to collect his suitcase from an alley outside the house and told them ‘it’s got all my stuff ready for prison’.
Mr Parker said: “Police said as you went up the stairs it resembled a scene from a horror movie. The complainant had red marks on her back, lumps on her back and was sore all over her body.
“She said she was scared throughout the incident and she genuinely thought the point had come where the defendant may well kill her.”
Classifying him a ‘dangerous offender’, Judge Beverley Lunt told Bonnell he intended to ‘terrorise and terrify’ his ex-partner.
Burnley Crown Court was told Bonnell had also committed the assault in Accrington while on licence for a previous conviction for attacking another ex-girlfriend.
He was sentenced to three years in prison in 2015 for actual bodily harm and threats to kill on Boxing Day in 2014, as well as battery against the same victim on December 1.
Giving him a ten years and four month sentence, Judge Lunt said his recent ex-partner had suffered ‘significant trauma and violence’ during the attack.
She said: “Given the similarity of the previous offence for which you were convicted in May 2015 and given a lengthy prison sentence, I make it plain there is no question in my mind that you are a dangerous offender.
“The actual physical injuries suffered in the incident may not have been as serious as they could be. But you terrorised both of these women and caused significant psychological harm.
“I am satisfied there is a significant risk of anyone in a relationship with you suffering psychological harm.”
Judge Lunt also granted a restraining order prohibiting Bonnell from contacting the victim. She added: “The offences before me were very serious, they were premeditated in my judgement and intended to terrorise and terrify your ex partner.
“You caused a lot of damage to the home.
“You used that weapon to repeatedly assault her while she was begging you to stop.
“It was very unpleasant with unpleasant injuries and she was clearly terrified for her life.”
Defending Bonnell, Kimberley Obrusik, said he accepted his behaviour had been ‘abhorrent’ and wanted to seek help.
She said: “Drugs have been the main problem of the offending throughout his life. He says his behaviour was entirely unacceptable and he is disgusted with himself.
“He says ‘I need a long prison sentence’. He wants to be able to work with his anger issues and drugs problem and issues with women. But it isn’t accepted by the defendant that this was a planned attack.
“He says he snapped as a result of being on the drugs. But he is adamant that was not his intention when he went round.”