Sunderland thug downed 24 cans and crack cocaine before attacking girlfriend he met as a pen-pal while serving 11-year prison sentence

A brute who downed 24 cans then attacked his girlfriend and three emergency workers has been jailed.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 4:13 pm

Peter McLeod, who has a history of violence and attacks on police, had formed a romance with a pen-pal who wrote to him while he was serving an 11-year sentence imposed in 2009.

Within months of being released back onto the streets, the 43-year-old launched a brutal attack on her at her home last October, where he repeatedly punched, headbutted and kicked her until she feared she would die.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim had been on the phone to her daughter, who contacted the police when she heard that the violence started.

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Peter McLeod.

McLeod was caught on body-worn police camera lashing out with kicks when the officers tried to restrain him and eventually was subdued by CS gas.

When he was taken to the police station, McLeod spat at a detention officer who tried to help him.

He later confessed during questioning he could not remember anything about the day, as he had "24 cans and taken some crack cocaine".

McLeod, of Hendon Burn Avenue, Hendon, Sunderland, admitted assault, and assaults on three emergency workers.

He was on a suspended sentence for assault on an emergency worker at the time, imposed just a month before.

Prosecutor Alec Burns told the court: "He began shouting at her, saying she had been cheating.

"He punched her in the face three times. She pleaded with him to stop."

Mr Burns said McLeod left the room and punched a door on the way out, but added: "On return he headbutted her in the face, he was shouting at her. He hit her just above her right eye with his forehead.

"She curled up in on the bed to protect herself. He got on top of her, grabbing her by the throat.

"She thought for a while she might die."

The court heard the attack continued with more hits, headbutts and kicks until McLeod calmed down.

Judge Julie Clemitson jailed McLeod for 20 months.

The judge told him: "Your relationship was a long association you had with her but your romantic relationship seems to have began while you were serving a long prison sentence. It began by correspondence, initially."

Judge Clemitson added: "She was in her own home and with a man she should have been entitled to trust would treat her properly and not cause injury to her."

The court heard McLeod had a traumatic childhood and Rachel Hedworth, defending, said: "He is extremely sorry, he is ashamed."

At the end of the hearing, McLeod told the court: "I just want to apologise to the emergency workers involved and everyone else in the case, they shouldn't have to put up with that."

McLeod said his partner "shouldn't have to put up with that" and added: "I should have done more to deal with my past, I have just got to keep on trying and that's what I am going to get on doing."