Notts thug abused "childhood sweetheart" for ten years

A Notts thug who subjected his childhood sweetheart to brutal violence and emotional abuse for ten years has been locked up, Nottingham Crown Court has heard.

Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 2:36 pm

Aaron Harper admitted carrying out three assaults occasioning actual bodily harm on the woman, between 2013 and 2019, at their home in Hucknall, and five other counts will lie on file, prosecutor Alan Murphy said.

Harper became angry with his diabetic partner when she turned on a light to look for her insulin and he punched her in the shoulder, on January 21, 2013.

He dragged her on to a mattress, hit and kicked her, and then stamped on her ribs, leaving her with breathing difficulties and in "immense pain" for six weeks.

His partner told a nurse she had slipped in snow, before breaking down and opening up about the attack, said Mr Murphy.

After arguing with her on August 13, 2015, Harper grabbed her by the back of the neck and rammed her into a door, causing "considerable bruising"

He returned home on November 22, 2019, after celebrating his sister's birthday, and accused his partner of having an affair with a delivery man.

Harper seized the woman's head, licked her face and made threats which left her "shaking with fear."

She believed he would kill her, but was able to text a friend who called the police.

Nottingham Crown Court heard the pair had known each other since they were five and were in a relationship when they were teenagers, before meeting again in 2009.

In a statement, Harper's former partner said she had been assaulted on numerous occasions, including being pushed, kicked, bit, burnt with a cigarette and having her ribs stamped on.

But she said the emotional and mental abuse was worse, and saw her subjected to a "multitude of insults" about her appearance, as well as hearing verbal threats to kill her family, which left her "hyper vigilant," "constantly on edge" and needing medication for depression and anxiety.

"Nothing I did for him was good enough," she said. "He showed no remorse or regret."

She was forced to sleep on the floor while she was pregnant, and suffered "cruel and perpetual abuse."

"The night he was arrested I honestly think he would have killed me," she told police officers.

The court heard Harper has eight previous convictions, and last appeared in court in 2006.

Matthew Smith, mitigating, said Harper's only real mitigation is his plea of guilty and “he acknowledges he had a distorted view of their relationship.”

"Everything I have done is disgusting," the scaffolder told probation officers.

Harper, 38, now of Town End Road, Draycott, pleaded guilty to three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Recorder Paul Mann QC told him: "You were quick to lash out verbally as well as physically. You lost all self control. You seem to minimise your responsibility by making out you were as much of a victim as she was.

"She was trapped in a relationship she hated but was too fearful to leave. Your offending took place under the influence of drink and drugs."

The judge sentenced him to 18 months in prison and banned him from contacting his ex-partner and attending her address in Hucknall, until further order.

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