‘Evil’ man who ‘exploded’ his girlfriend’s eye faces long jail sentence

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A VIOLENT boyfriend, who “exploded” his girlfriend’s eye during his latest attack on her, faces a long prison sentence.

Sandra Banks said she heard a “massive pop” before blood started pouring down her face after the forceful blow by “evil” Mark Phythian during a row at his home.

Miss Banks told Newcastle Crown Court she has lost total vision in her right eye, which is now “dead” and she may lose it completely.

Phythian, of Musgrove Terrace, Washington, who has convictions for attacks on Miss Banks in the past, denied causing grievous bodily harm, assault and acting in breach of a restraining order.

The 42-year-old was tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court which found him guilty of all charges.

Sentence was adjourned until next month, but Judge Paul Sloan warned Phythian: “You will understand, a substantial custodial sentence is likely in the circumstances of this case.”

Judge Sloan ordered a report from the probation service and said: “I would like the report to deal specifically with risk in relation to Sandra Banks and to partners in the future.”

Miss Banks told jurors during the trial Phythian had ordered her to get back with him when he was released from prison for a previous attack on her, despite a restraining order being in place to keep him away.

She said the first six weeks were “alright”, but he soon started acting violent again.

Miss Banks said on February 22, which was her birthday, a row at his home quickly escalated to violence.

Miss Banks said the initial assault on her happened in the bathroom, where she was punched and hit with a towel rail before he followed her out of the room.

She said: “He just looked at me, really evil, and just punched me in the face, really hard. My eye exploded, I just heard a massive pop and my eye started pouring with blood. I was screaming.

“I started screaming, crying, I had never felt pain like it in all my life. My eye was pouring with blood.”

Miss Banks told jurors Phythian had locked her in the house after the attack.

She said: “I was screaming, crying. I was scared out of my wits. I wanted to die.”

Miss Banks was taken to the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Gateshead, before being transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle for surgery.

She told the court: “That eye, they told me it’s dead. There is no chance I will regain my sight ever again.”

Phythian told jurors it was Miss Banks who attacked him that night, and he had lashed out to get him off her.

He denied forcing her to go back with him after his release from prison, and said: “I told her I was in love with her. She came with me.”

Jurors rejected his claims outright.