Sunderland brute beat girlfriend unconscious and attacked her again when she came round

A brute who beat his girlfriend unconscious then continued the violence when she woke up with blood "gushing" from her face has been put behind bars.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 6:05 pm

Leslie Swainston lashed out with such ferocity that the leg of the sofa the victim was attacked on snapped.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim needed seven, internal and external, stitches to a laceration he caused just above her eye and has been left scarred.

Prosecutor Shada Mellor told the court the violence happened at Swainston's home in Sunderland in December 2019, where the then couple were drinking and had been arguing.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Leslie Swainston

Miss Mellor told the court: "Without provocation he got up, grabbed her by the hair and threw her onto the sofa he had been sitting on.

"He started punching her in the head and face, this was until she lost consciousness.

"When she came round she felt horrendous pain in her right eye.

"When she leaned forward she describes seeing blood gushing from her eye area, this was pouring onto the floor.

"The defendant began punching her to the head and face once again.

"She tried to defend herself."

The court heard the victim managed to grab her phone and call the police, despite Swainston trying to grab it from her.

She was taken to Sunderland Royal where she had an X-ray and CT scan as well as seven stitches to the wound near her eye.

The victim said in a statement the attack changed her life "beyond belief" and added: "I have been left with a scar that is a constant reminder to me, every time I look in the mirror.

"It is visible to people."

The woman has since married someone else and said: "It is supposed to be one of the best things that ever happened to someone but my relationship has also been affected.

"I regularly snap at my partner for no reason because I am having flashbacks.

"When I manage to find the courage to go out the scar on my face is a constant reminder of what happened.

"When people ask me how I got it I walk away because I can't cope."

Swainston, 37, of Quayside House, Sunderland, who has previous convictions and served a six year sentence for violence in the past, was convicted of assault after a trial at magistrates’ court, in his absence.

Judge Tim Gittins sentenced him to 18 months behind bars with a five year restraining order.

The judge said: "Clearly there's an ongoing psychological affect upon her, quite apart from the physical scars."

Judge Gittins told Swainston: "You are a bad drunk. You can't control how much you have once you start and you can't control your temper.

"The result is pain and misery to those who get in your way."

Vic Laffey, defending, said Swainston has a good work ethic and has been looking for employment.

Mr Laffey said Swainston now consumes a "very low" level of alcohol and added: "The court won't see him again.

"He tells me he has learned his lesson and if given a chance he will prove that."

Read More

Read More
Cheesy chips and Wembley - now you can have it delivered on cup final day in a p...

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest on SAFC and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.