A WOMAN was attacked on her way home from work by her ex-boyfriend who had been hiding behind a fence waiting for her.
Alan Kellett, 54, jumped out and dragged his victim around on the ground by her hair, breaking a bone in her hand.
One witness said the woman screamed like she was “in agony” during the attack – at the hands of a man she had previously been in a relationship with for 18 years.
Prosecutor Richard Herrmann told Newcastle Crown Court the couple had been together since 1995 but broke up early last year.
It was when the victim was walking home from work on March 16 last year that she was attacked.
Mr Herrmann said: “The defendant popped up from behind a fence which she perceives him to have been hiding behind. He assaulted her, initially by pulling her hair, pulling her to the ground.
“She was crying out. She was covering her face and screaming loudly. She alleged while on the ground, she was repeatedly punched by him.”
The court heard the woman was left bruised and tender to various areas of her body and had a broken bone in her hand.
Two months after the terrifying attack, she spent half an hour trying to hide from Kellett, who was hurling abuse and following her around The Galleries shopping centre in Washington.
Mr Recorder Wilby QC said Kellett’s behaviour was “frightening and appalling”. The judge said: “People have difficulties with those they have lived with, but not many of those end up in hospital and not many of them are dragged around the street.
“Not many of them have incidents in a public place which are extremely offensive and led her to believe she may be in danger of some form of physical violence again.”
Kellett, of Morris Street, Houghton, admitted affray and a lesser public order offence.
He was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to stay away from his ex for four years.
Christopher Morrison, defending, said Kellett had received a series of phone calls from his victim which show “there is no such thing as a one-sided coin”.