A 23-year-old man will face a judge after pleading guilty to punching his 59-year-old fiancée.
Appearing at Swindon Magistrates’ Court today (18 November) via video link from prison, James Lait admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage.
Prosecutor Charles Nightingale said the defendant, who gave his address as Goldney Avenue, Chippenham, punched his partner of around one year in the face in Melksham town centre on Friday (12 November).
Lait attended the victim’s address and alerted her to his presence by tapping on her window at 6.45am. Refusing him entry to the property, she agreed to meet him outside after some persuasion.
The victim was previously told she could lose her accommodation – believed to be supported housing – if she continued to allow Lait into the address.
The pair visited Sainsbury’s to buy tobacco and continued to walk in and around the town centre.
Lait is said to have unexpectedly turned aggressive, threatening to make her lose her accommodation. The victim tried to calm him down, but he shouted “shut up and have some respect”. He also called her a “c**t” and a “slag”.
Having crossed the road, he told her “what I did before is nothing compared to what I’m going to do now” before punching her in the face.
The 59-year-old said she felt “stunned” and claimed she thought he had broken her jaw as a result of the nasty attack.
As she tried to get away, Lait followed her and his victim ran into a nearby shop and asked workers if they could call the police. An eyewitness followed her, claiming “disgusted” at what she saw and offered to provide her details to officers when they arrived.
Whilst no details of any long-lasting injuries were provided to the court, it’s said the victim suffered a clicking jaw, sore gums, a cut to her face and a bruise from her jaw to her ear.
Mr Nightingale told of how Lait has a long history of abusing partners and is currently awaiting sentencing for breaching a restraining order, assault and perverting the course of justice.
Defending, Emma Hillier said her client “reacted very poorly” during an argument and claimed Lait has no issues with drugs or alcohol.
She said he does not suffer from any mental health issues and is not medicated, before describing the assault as “impulsive and short-lived”.
Magistrates decided a judge – which more sufficient powers – should sentence Lait. The case was sent to Swindon Crown Court and will be heard on 17 December.
A bail application was made by the defence, but it was rejected. He was remanded into custody.
On hearing the news, Lait shouted: “I won’t commit no offences though init”.