Man broke partner’s leg during drunken row

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A MAN who broke his partner’s leg during a drunken argument has been spared jail.

Paul Stavers fell on the woman’s leg as the pair grappled in the early hours, Durham Crown Court heard.

“The couple were living in a house in Seaham,” said Martin Towers, prosecuting.

“Stavers confronted the woman over some text messages he had found. She suffered the leg injury in the ensuing fight.

“In her initial police statement, she said Stavers stamped on her leg, but she has since retracted that part.

“She now says he didn’t meant to do it.” Stavers, 32, of Otterburn Crescent, Houghton, admitted causing grievous bodily harm on June 1.

He has previous convictions for being drunk and disorderly and for causing criminal damage.

Jim Withyman, defending, said in mitigation: “They fought, they both fell to the floor, he fell on her leg and broke it.

Mr Stavers is a working man and has no previous convictions for violence.

“The relationship is at an end, but the victim is allowing him access to their daughter.”

The Recorder, Mr Toby Hedworth QC, sentenced Stavers to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years, and a 12-month supervision order.

The Recorder told Stavers: “It is important the public understand you are being sentenced on the basis of your plea, which has been accepted by the prosecution. You did not deliberately break your victim’s leg.

“I have read 13 references about you which show that you are otherwise a good, hardworking man. You have problems with your temper when in drink.

“That will be addressed by a probation service programme which is part of your sentence.”