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Barry Connaughton, of Ashford and Braintree, jailed for repeated attacks on his former girlfriend

A man described by a judge as controlling, bullying, menacing and threatening, has been jailed for more than five years for assaulting his ex-partner.

Barry Connaughton, 35, formerly of Ashford but now living in Braintree, was told by Judge James O’Mahony that the pattern of his offending with various partners had demonstrated that he was a serious and persistent offender.

Jailing Connaughton for a total of five-and- a-half years the judge said: “I need to protect people, especially anyone who might come into a relationship with you.”

Barry Connaughton, from Ashford, has been jailed for assaulting his former partner.
Barry Connaughton, from Ashford, has been jailed for assaulting his former partner.

Connaughton admitted criminal damage, three assaults on his ex-partner and stealing her bank card.

Madeleine Woolfe, prosecuting, said between March 5 and April 29 Connaughton was in a relationship with his ex-partner in which he was controlling and coercive throughout.

On March 12 he went to her home and started calling her derogatory names. Losing his temper, he slammed a patio door which broke.

On March 26 his partner took her children to Singleton Barn near Ashford and while there started talking to a man. When she returned home Connaughton was waiting with other people armed with baseball bats.

Connaughton went inside where he hit her, saying it was her fault for talking to a man. On April 2 Connaughton and his partner went to stay in Essex with his mother.

After an evening out he became aggressive and punched her in the face Miss Woolfe said.

He told her he would rip her face off, hit her again and took her bank card.

His Honour Judge James O'Mahony.
His Honour Judge James O'Mahony.

On April 16, Connaughton hit the victim and called her offensive names and on April 29, while they were staying at Ashford’s Conningbrook Hotel, he held her down on the bed by her hair and repeatedly punched her after she made a comment about a man’s muscular body while watching television.

Miss Woolfe said: “Connaughton used both fists and hit his partner about 10 times. He stuffed a towel in her mouth and punched her again.”

His previous convictions included assaulting other partners, robbery, burglary, affray, battery, drugs offences and sending offensive phone messages.

Esther Schutzer-Weissmann, defending, said Connaughton had known nothing but violence in his life and he gained independence by committing crime. He took solace from alcohol and drugs.

She added: “He is remorseful and understands what he has done to his ex-partner and her children.”

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