A ROW over a petrol strimmer led to a man headbutting his former partner and fracturing her nose, a court heard.

John Fleming was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, at Bolton Crown Court for the attack on Justine Gaskell.

Louise Whaites, prosecuting, told the court how the couple had been living together for three months when, on June 24 last year, Fleming left their Tonge Fold home following an argument.

Two days later he returned to collect his possessions and another row occurred over ownership of a petrol strimmer.

He pushed Ms Gaskell and tried to strangle her as she lay on the hall floor before headbutting her and dragging her into the living room, the court heard.

Judge Eliiot Knopf was told that her nose was bleeding and she later needed surgery to straighten it. Fleming, aged 50 of Owlwood Drive, Little Hulton, had pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm on the day of his trial, after initially denying the offence.

Paul Bryning, defending, said that the attack had not been premeditated and Fleming was remorseful, and got tissues from the kitchen to stem the bleeding from Ms Gaskell’s nose.

Judge Knopf also sentenced Fleming to 200 hours unpaid work and ordered him to pay £500 compensation.


He told him: “You need to learn the lesson of what you did.

“That argument led, it seems to me, to a complete lack of control on your part.

“There was no possible explanation or excuse for your brutish behaviour towards this woman.”

Judge Knopf also made a restraining order banning Fleming from contacting Ms Gaskell or going near her home for two years.