Jail for man who attacked partner

PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 March 2011

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A PORTISHEAD man has been sent to jail after committing a string of offences including assaulting his partner and possessing a knife.

Vernon Smith, aged 37, was sentenced to 23 weeks behind bars by magistrates sitting at North Somerset Courthouse on Monday.

The court heard that Smith, of Leigh View Road, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to using words or behaviour to cause a fear of unlawful violence towards Nathan Coles and Jordan Read, and possessing a knife in Pill on September 26.

Karen Grant, prosecuting, said the victims spotted Smith, who was ‘very drunk’, at a bus stop, before he came over to them and asked if they knew a specific person.

Smith then brandished a 20cm kitchen knife and said he was ‘ready to kill’.

Mr Coles and Read then left in a friend’s car because they were ‘fearful’ of what Smith might do.

Magistrates also sentenced Smith for five offences, including common assault, using words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress, assault by beating, drink driving and failing to surrender to court bail.

The court heard these offences related to an attack against his former partner Rebecca Bayliss on September 26.

Miss Grant said a drunken Smith assaulted Miss Bayliss by punching her twice, pulling her hair and threatening to kill her.

Off-duty police officer Graham Fox heard the commotion and tried to intervene, and Smith also threatened him.

Magistrates found him guilty in his absence at a trial at North Somerset Courthouse on December 9 after he failed to attend the case.

Sue Baker, defending, said Smith suffered from anxiety and depression, and used alcohol as a ‘coping mechanism’ but had recently completed an alcohol detox while on remand.

She said Smith, who lost his job following the assault on Miss Bayliss, has a new partner and has ‘moved on’.

However the court heard that following an incident at the bail hostel where Smith was staying, he was told he could not return – and probation would not support magistrates offering him a community sentence.

They therefore imposed a custodial sentences and also disqualified Smith from driving for 20 months.


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