Sunderland brute branded 'danger to women' after attacking girlfriend over Facebook friend request and Snapchat notification

Gary Bulmer
Gary Bulmer

A brute has been branded a "danger to women" by a former girlfriend he repeatedly attacked because of her social media interactions.

Gary Bulmer poked the 33-year-old in the eye when she received a Facebook friend request, kneed her in the face when she got a Snapchat notification and dragged her around a hotel as a result of another online message.

Newcastle Crown Court heard when the woman got a replacement phone after he snapped her original one in half, he broke the new one within four hours.

When the victim asked Bulmer why he was treating her in such a way, he told her "You've done this to yourself", was adamant he had done nothing wrong and told her "I don't want anyone else messaging you do I?"

Bulmer, 32, of Portsmouth Road, Sunderland, admitted three charges of assault, two of common assault and two of criminal damage.

Judge Jeremy Freedman told Bulmer, who was on a suspended prison sentence for an attack on a previous partner at the time of the offences: "You became a violent, abusive and controlling bully.

"You were jealous of every move she made. If she received a telephone call or message you assumed she was being unfaithful and your saw it as your place to assault her and to abuse her because of your ill-founded suspicions about her behaviour."

The judge jailed Bulmer for 27 months, with a ten year restraining order to keep him away from the woman.

Judge Freedman said the attacks were "degrading" and told Bulmer that prison sentences in domestic violence cases mean "vulnerable women being protected from bullies like you".

The woman said in a victim statement: "I have been controlled, manipulated, degraded and beaten by a man I am terrified of.

"This man has turned my life upside down. He is jealous and controlling. He is a danger to women. I am broken by the things he has done to me.

"I have done nothing to deserve this. I have been loving and caring towards him. He has repaid me by assaulting me, damaging property and threatening me."

The victim said she is "living in fear of what he might do next".

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court the Bulmer and his victim had been pals for around 12 years before they started a relationship early last

year.

The court heard the first attack was on June 28 last year, "when she received friend request on Facebook".

Mr Pallister said: "The defendant took exception to that became violent, he poked her in the eye, pushed her in the chest."

The next violent outburst was two days later.

Mr Pallister said: "She received a message on Snapchat from a male friend of the family.

"On becoming aware of the message, he grabbed her and used his knee to strike her in the face, resulting in a considerable amount of bruising and swelling around her left eye."

The court head two weeks later, on July 14, an argument started and Bulmer punched her in the eye with such force she fell and hit her head on the ground, which knocked her unconscious.

The victim asked Bulmer why he was violent towards her.

Mr Pallister added: "He replied 'you have done this to yourself'.

"She described him as calm and collected and adamant he had done nothing wrong.

"She said he was too scared to end the relationship."

The court heard in September last year the couple spent the night at the George Washington hotel in a bid to "improve their relationship".

Mr Pallister said: "While they were there she was contacted on social media by a third party. It resulted in him seizing her telephone and bending it in half, causing it to break.

"She attempted to flee but was dragged back into the hotel."

The court heard it was less than a week later the victim got her new phone, which Bulmer broke after just four hours.

That same day, the victim was attacked again by Bulmer, who used his knee to striker her in the leg.

The court heard Bulmer has a good work record and wrote a personal letter to the judge to express his remorse for his behaviour.