Sunderland man attacked heavily pregnant ex-girlfriend in brutal assault, then hid inside bed from police

A brute who attacked his heavily pregnant former girlfriend just days after being ordered by a court to stay away from her is behind bars.

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 10:15 am

Gary Ward, 33, was issued with a restraining order on August 28 last year after being violent to the woman.

Newcastle Crown Court heard just 11 days later he launched another attack after being allowed into her home, when she was 28 weeks pregnant with his child.

Prosecutor Nicholas Lane told the court: "Having been allowed into the flat, the defendant assaulted her.

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Gary Ward is now behind bars.

"He punched her repeatedly to the head and face, causing her to become dizzy and fall to the floor.

"She asked the defendant to stop as she was needing to use the bathroom.

"He allowed her into the bathroom but as she was sat on the toilet he assaulted her again."

The court heard when the victim ran from her home to get help, Ward hid in the base of her bed, and caused damage to it in the process, in a bid to avoid police.

The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court.

The woman was admitted to the hospital maternity unit with soreness and swelling and said in a victim impact statement: "I can't believe Gary has assaulted me again, even worse that he punched me knowing I am 28 weeks pregnant.

"I need support to keep me and my baby safe from him.

"I am lying in a hospital bed feeling extremely sore and I am scared for my baby.

"I don't want Gary anywhere near me."Mr Lane said Ward has previous convictions for violence against another partner and even his own mother.

Liam O'Brien, defending, said it was a "complicated relationship" between the couple and the victim has been writing to Ward in prison and does not want a further restraining order to be put in place.

Mr O'Brien said Ward has spent five months on remand in HMP Durham where covid is spreading "like wildfire" and inmates spend more than 23 hours per day locked in cells.

Mr Recorder David Gordon sentenced Ward to 11 months behind bars.

The judge told Ward: "This was a defenceless woman, 28 weeks pregnant, carrying a child.

"Only by good fortune no greater injury was caused to her or indeed her baby."

Ward, of Dundas Street, Sunderland, admitted breach of a restraining order, common assault and criminal damage.

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