Boozy man slapped his partner after parking row

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A booze-fuelled man who slapped his partner has been given a chance by magistrates after he stopped drinking and is seeking mental health support.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, March 1, how Martin Etherington, 30, of Scarthin, at Cromford, attacked his partner in their home after they had a row over the parking of their car.

Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Haslam said: “They had been out as a family and the mother of the defendant’s partner had visited and they had been to a friend’s house and the defendant had been drinking.

“The defendant’s partner drove back to their address where parking is difficult and she found a space but the defendant - who was in drink - tried to get into the driver’s seat to park the car but his partner took the keys.”

The couple went into the house, according to Mrs Haslam, where Etherington became abusive as he tried to help cook a meal and he picked up a knife and caused a mark to a chair.

Mrs Haslam added that Etherington’s partner suggested he should leave the property before he said she should leave and he slapped her.

Etherington admitted to police hitting the back of a chair causing holes in a jumper and that he had slapped his partner after drinking ten cans of lager.

He added that he felt remorseful and regretted his actions.

Etherington pleaded guilty to assault after the incident on February 11.

Defence solicitor Kevin Tomlinson said: “There was a ridiculous argument about where the car should be parked and the argument continued as they were preparing food.

“The argument was continued by the defendant and he lost control and slapped his partner to the face and he took steps to diffuse the situation by leaving the family home to allow things to calm down.”

Mr Tomlinson added that Etherington has stopped drinking and he has been to his GP to get help and he has referred himself to a mental health team for support.

Magistrates sentenced Etherington to a 12 month conditional discharge but warned that if he re-offends in the next year he will be re-sentenced for the assault and for any new crime.

Etherington was also ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs.