A DRUNKEN man assaulted his girlfriend and self-harmed in front of her after mistakenly thinking they had agreed a suicide pact.
Matthew Gordon Richard Hendricks, of Salop Road, Wrexham, had an argument with his girlfriend on November 11 last year and had left the house, before returning after 5am the following day drunk.
Hendricks, 27, demanded to see his girlfriend’s mobile phone but she refused so he ripped open her handbag to look for it. He then grabbed plates and smashed them over his head, before using the fragments to cut his own arms.
The victim screamed at Hendricks to stop and was in fear for her safety. Hendricks then pinned her against a door, grabbed the scarf around her neck and demanded to see her mobile phone or he would kill her.
She feared for her life and handed over her phone, at which point she tried to leave the property. But Hendricks, who locked the door to stop her from getting away, pulled out a knife and started cutting himself in front of the victim.
Hendricks, who pleaded not guilty to assault at an earlier hearing but was found guilty in his absence at trial, was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, with half of the sentence to be served on licence.
At Wrexham Magistrates Court on Friday, prosecutor Justin Espie said the victim suffered bruising to the neck, as well as psychological trauma stemming from the incident.
Reading a victim impact statement, Mr Espie said friends and family had noted a significant difference in her behaviour since the incident.
Mr Espie told the court the victim doesn’t sleep well at night, only managing three or four hours. And when she does sleep, she wakes up sweating.
She also suffers flashbacks to the traumatic events when she closes her eyes and says she can no longer trust people.
Emma Simoes, defending, said the incident stemmed from Hendricks misreading a text message from the victim, which led him to believe the couple had entered into a suicide pact.
She said their relationship had suffered difficulties after the victim suffered a miscarriage and had been finding it difficult to express how they felt to each other.
She told the court Hendricks had consumed a large amount of alcohol, causing him to misread a text message from her. Due to the amount of alcohol Hendricks consumed, his recollection of the incident is ‘hazy’.
Miss Simoes added Hendricks is ‘very remorseful’ and ‘totally regrets’ his behaviour.
Sentencing, chairman of magistrates Celia Jenkins said Hendricks had caused ‘considerable harm to the victim’.
Hendricks was given a further seven days in prison, to be served concurrently, for failure to attend the trial date.
He was also handed a restraining order to not contact the victim until further notice.