Love rat attacks ex-girlfriend in row

in happier times: Keith McDonald with then-fianc�e Clare Bryant from Houghton in 2009.

in happier times: Keith McDonald with then-fianc�e Clare Bryant from Houghton in 2009.

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SERIAL love rat Keith McDonald has been back before the courts after he assaulted his former partner and their three-year-old child in a spat over sunglasses.

McDonald – rumoured to have 11 children with 10 different women – attacked ex Clare Bryant, who once spoke about her plans to marry the 28-year-old.

Miss Bryant, who has two children with unemployed McDonald, suffered cuts and scratches in the row at her Houghton home.

The toddler was hit in the head by a fridge door, which was flung open by McDonald.

The love rat had pleaded not guilty to two charges of assault.

But McDonald, wearing a black T-shirt, admitted committing the offences on June 11 before Sunderland Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Paul Doney, prosecuting, described how McDonald came round to drop off some cash while the victim was getting her three and two-year-old girls ready.

He said: “She asked him to go away, then he asked for his sunglasses and was asked by the injured party to stay where he was while she got them.

“He tried to push past her, then grabbed her hair and pulled her down before kicking her in the face and punching her to the head.

“He was pushed back towards the yard as a neighbour shouted at them.

“The defendant again asked for his sunglasses. She was going to get them and call the police.”

McDonald and his ex then argued about her owing his uncle money for a fridge. He vowed to “wreck” it and flung the fridge door open, hitting the three-year-old on the back of the head.

Mr Doney said: “She then ran at him and forced him out of the house and threw his sunglasses at him. Both her and her daughter went to hospital. She had a three to four inch graze on her neck and cuts on her hand.

“Her daughter was not physically injured but her head was hot, believed to be due to the impact from the fridge door.”

In a statement read out to the court, Miss Bryant said: “All I could think, when Keith was punching me to the face, was ‘oh my God, I hope the bruises don’t show when I take the bairns to school’.”

Defending McDonald, Gavin Sword said he had a “slightly different version of events” to his ex.

“He said they had been back together and living together as man and wife for about two weeks,” he said.

“He was leaving and she did not want him to leave and that was the reason for the struggle.

“He accepts there was a struggle and in the course of that struggle, he caused the injuries she has stated in her account, with the possible exception of the cut on her right hand, which he does not accept he caused initially.

“The struggle was taking place in the doorway. A sharp nail was sticking out and he thinks she cut her hand on that.”

Mr Sword added that McDonald, of Springwell Road, had not intended to hit the little girl, but accepted his actions were reckless and was seeking help managing his anger.

McDonald, who has a history of violence against women, was granted conditional bail while a Probation Service report was prepared, looking at all options, including a jail term.

Chairman of the bench, Jean Brown, told him he must obey an electronically-monitored curfew between 7pm-7am, live and sleep at his home address, not contact Miss Bryant or enter Houghton.