Thug jailed for attacking girlfriend after 'she had been out so long' walking her dog

The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court.
The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court.

A brute who attacked his girlfriend just days after being given a suspended jail term for previous violence on her has now been put behind bars.

Michael McKenzie was allowed to keep his freedom in July after he headbutted the woman in the face during a row at her home in Washington.

Newcastle Crown Court heard just 36 days after he was given the suspended sentence, the 38-year-old launched another attack on the same victim, who had given him "another chance".

This time, McKenzie, who was paid carer for the woman, who has mental health and other problems and was described as "desperately vulnerable", lashed out because the victim took too long on a dog walk in August.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister said: "When she returned home, the defendant took exception to the fact she had been out so long, saying where had she been."

Mr Pallister said McKenzie became increasingly agitated and added: "She tried to explain she had done nothing wrong. All of a sudden she felt a headbutt to her head. She said she felt a couple of digs to her head and nose and a punch to the side of the head.

"She ended up on the floor, feeling drowsy, with blood on her face."

The court heard the victim suffered a fractured nose, cuts to her face and two black eyes.

McKenzie, of Belmont Terrace, Springwell, Gateshead, admitted assault and breach of the earlier suspended sentence.

Judge Amanda Rippon, who imposed the original suspended jail term, sentenced him to a total of 22 months behind bars.

The judge told him: "I told you when I sentenced you in July that if you breached the order I made I would activate the sentence.

"You were given a chance in July and you have failed to take that chance in, quite astonishingly, the most spectacular fashion because within weeks you committed an offence so similar, in relation to the same victim, with worse results."

Glen Gatland, defending, said McKenzie had an "unusual relationship" and that the domestic violence programme imposed as part of the original sentence had not yet started.

Mr Gatland said McKenzie is motivated to change and improve himself and had earned certificates to help improve his career prospects.

Mr Gatland added: "If it had not been for him having a drink then none of this would have occurred."