A DRUNKEN boyfriend “backhanded” his girlfriend in front of their children – knocking her false teeth out.
David Sykes was in a drunken rage when he attacked the woman, who he had been living with in South Hetton, because she didn’t have a cigarette.
He pleaded guilty to assault at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court, though denied having any memory if it.
John McGlone, prosecuting, told the court that the 28-year-old had downed vodka and lager when he lashed out at the mum-of-three in Sunderland’s Park Lane bus station on Decem- ber 1.
He read out a statement from the victim, who had been with Sykes for 12 years.
She said: “Although I love David I can’t take any more. I want him to stay away.
“What he has done is painful to me and the children. I want him to get help and leave me alone.
“I want the courts to grant an order to keep him away from the children. I don’t know where to turn.”
Tony Southwick, defending, said Sykes couldn’t remember the incident because of the amount he had to drink, but has “self-detoxed” while in custody.
He said: “He is now saying ‘yes I do have a drinking problem, and yes I do need help’.”
Sykes, who has 34 previous convictions, was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months.
District Judge Roger Elsey, said: “You have had experience of prison and I’m pleased that you realise that you have to change.
“Because of that I’m able to suspend the prison sentence, and I am making a restraining order.
“You are not to harass or pester the woman, and not to contact or communicate with her save for the purpose of contact with her children
“Any breach with the suspended prison sentence, will mean a lengthy prison sentence.”
Sykes, who will stay at his mum’s address in Easington Lane, will also be supervised by the probation service and attend a domestic violence programme and pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.