Man jailed after leaving Southam woman with broken rib and punctured lung in violent attack

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A man who left his girlfriend with a broken rib which punctured her lung, in an attack which was the culmination of his controlling behaviour towards her, has been jailed.

John Finch, 29, of Hills Mead Road, Kings Norton, Birmingham, had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to inflicting grievous bodily harm and using controlling or coercive behaviour within a relationship with the Southam woman.

Finch, who was living at his victim’s home at the time, was jailed for two years and 10 months.

Prosecutor Zaheer Afzal said the woman, who lived with her 11-year-old son, had met Finch in November last year, and in January he moved into her home in Southam.

He said: “It’s quite clear that over the course of their relationship she received many injuries, including bruising to her arms and neck. The defendant, simply put, if making a demand, would not take no for an answer.”

On at least five occasions during the relationship he would grab her if she did not pay sufficient attention to him, throw her around and assault her.

Detailing various incidents, Mr Afzal said that on January 14 Finch kicked a cupboard door in temper and punched her to her arm, and on January 31 he grabbed her round the neck.

He added: “On the 2nd of February he grabbed her round the neck, grabbed her glasses and forced her mouth open and shoved them into her mouth.

“On another occasion, following an argument on the phone, he came to her address and grabbed her and began strangling her and pushing her against a door.”

There were also numerous times when he sent threatening text messages to her, threatening to stab her.

Finch was so self-centred that he even told her he hoped the guilt of him being sent to prison would eat away at her.

Matters escalated on February 27, when Finch became angry after her dog had made a mess on the floor at her home, and she described him as ‘flipping out.’

He threw the TV remote control at her, then grabbed her and punched her to the right side of her body, and she fell to the floor in considerable pain.

While she was on the floor, he put his foot on her head and pressed down, causing her to lose consciousness for a period of time.

When she came round, she managed to get free and told him to leave, which he did after her 11-year-old son had bundled his things into a bag.

But he then returned, claiming he had left his wallet, and the terrified woman locked herself in her bedroom as he tried to force his way into the room before leaving again.

After he had gone she was taken to hospital where it was found she had suffered a fractured rib and a punctured lung, as a result of which she was kept in for a week.

The court heard that Finch had previous convictions for violence, including inflicting grievous bodily harm, and at the time was subject to a community order for disclosing private photographs of an ex-partner to a friend of hers.

Of the injury, Simon Hands, defending, said: “It was a single blow, and there is some evidence of remorse. The best mitigation for Mr Finch, given his unattractive history, is his guilty plea.

“Perhaps the saddest thing is that he had a positive job and a substantial income, which he has now lost, and was out of trouble since 1999 until 2011.

“He has always had issues with relationships, perhaps because he had spent his early life in the care system.

Recorder Anthony Potter told him: “Both offences relate to a lady you met last year and then lived with her and her son.

“You conducted yourself in a violent, belittling way towards her, and on the final occasion you became extremely violent, breaking her rib which punctured her lung.

“The matter is aggravated by the location of the offence, committed in her own home.”