Seaham man attacked female friend after visiting her Sunderland home to do DIY

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Andrew Jeffries.Andrew Jeffries.
Andrew Jeffries.

A man who savagely attacked a female friend at her home and only claimed to have accepted responsibility when facing jail has been caged.

Violent lout Andrew Jeffries, 38, of Stanley Street, Seaham, had twice attacked his vulnerable victim before he struck again when she invited him in to do DIY on Thursday, August 10.

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He punched her in the face after waking from a drunken stupor at her Sunderland abode, then dragged her across a room after she cowered in a corner – and bashed her against a wall.

Jeffries denied the attack but was found guilty at a trial he failed to attend – and in a court-ordered report, he continued to reject his role.

But minutes before being sentenced at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, his defence solicitor insisted he had undergone a change of heart and accepted his guilt.

However, District Judge Zoe Passfield told shocked-looking Jeffries his admission was “too little, too late” – and jailed him for 12 weeks.

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The judge added: “This was a prolonged assault. It involved a punch to the face and involved you hitting (her) head off a wall. It was in her own home and committed in drink.

“This is the third time you’ve assaulted her. I’m afraid your sudden acceptance of responsibility on the days before you were due to be sentenced is too little, too late.

“This is aggravated by your past offences.”

Prosecutor Paige Sparks said: “The victim states that she contacted him. He came to do some home improvements.

“He was intoxicated, and she left. Some hours later, she announced that she was back. He punched her to the right side of her face, just below an eye.

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“She moved to a corner of the room to get away. He grabbed her wrist and dragged her across the room.

“The crown would say that the victim was vulnerable and would say he was intoxicated. She had bruising injuries.”

Jeffries pleaded guilty to failing to surrender to the court on Monday, December 4, the day of his trial on the denied assault by beating charge.

Ben Hurst, defending, said: “From the Probation Service report, you see that he doesn’t accept responsibility. He was found guilty in his absence.

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“He’s had time to reflect and accepts his responsibility. The reason for that change is quite relevant.

“The underlying tone of the report seems to be alcohol, he is alcohol dependent. While still alcohol dependent, he has reduced.

“He’s had a number of seizures due to alcohol which has made him realise that he can’t continue his lifestyle of being dependent on alcohol.

“A suspended sentence would allow him to continue with his alcohol support which he has taken off his own back.”

Judge Passfield ordered Jeffries to pay the woman £200 compensation. There were no court costs.

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