Sunderland mum beaten and held captive by new boyfriend

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A MOTHER was held captive and subjected to a day of brutal beatings by a boyfriend she had been seeing for just a fortnight.

Relatives of Katherine Blake realised something was wrong when blood-soaked tissues and stains were found in her empty Sunderland home, and she was not answering their frantic phone calls.

When the 35-year-old’s mother Muriel Blake went to Craig Roberts’ house nearby she saw her badly injured daughter pleading for help from a window.

Newcastle Crown Court heard during her terrifying day-long ordeal Miss Blake had been repeatedly beaten, and 31-year-old Roberts stood on top of her while he stamped on her face and head.

Miss Blake was warned by Roberts he was going to draft in others to join in the attack on her, was told she would be beaten if she did not answer his questions within three seconds and that she faced further violence if she got blood on his belongings.

Roberts had wrapped a jumper around Miss Blake’s neck which he used to try and choke her, and threatened if she went to the police he would hurt her parents.

Judge Paul Sloan jailed Roberts, from Watford, who admitted unlawful imprisonment and assault, for three years.

The judge said: “She describes random assaults, assaults inflicted at intervals which continued throughout that Wednesday until the arrival of the police.

“She speaks of you spitting at her in between assaults.

“You actually stood on top of her as you kicked her body and head repeatedly before dragging her up from the floor and again beating her.”

Judge Sloan said the attack, which left Miss Blake with bruising to her face, head, arms, legs, and body and needing stitches to cuts on her face, has left her “in pieces”.

He added: “She is too frightened to go out alone and no longer trusts men.

“She is still suffering panic attacks, is unable to sleep properly and has nightmares.

“She lives in constant fear because of what you did that night.”

Roberts was ordered to stay away from Miss Blake and her parents under the terms of a 10-year restraining order.

Prosecutor Diane Spence had told the court how Miss Blake had been in a relationship with Roberts for just two weeks when the attack happened.

The trouble had started on June 5, when Roberts lost his temper when Miss Blake wanted to leave his home and spend some time alone.

She got out and went home, but he was already waiting for her by the time she got back.

Roberts then attacked her “without warning” and ordered her back to his house in the early hours of the following morning, after keeping guard over her as she lay in bed.

Miss Spence added: “He locked the front door and started drinking wine and then it started again.

“He grabbed her by the hair and started hitting her. He assaulted her over the course of the day. He had stamped on her mobile phone to prevent her making calls.”

It was after 3pm when the police brought Miss Blake’s horrifying ordeal to an end.

Even then Roberts told officers they had been “play fighting”.

Andrew Finlay, defending, said Roberts, who has been violent to other women both before and after the attack, has struggled for an explanation for what he did to Miss Blake.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho