Brain-damaged man fined after assaulting partner during chocolate row

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A brain-injury victim who pushed his partner twice and damaged her mobile phone after they had an argument over buying chocolate has ben given a community order.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, September 28, how Luke Tongue, 35, of Upperthorpe Villas, Killamarsh, grabbed Katie Woollen’s mobile which fell to the floor before he pushed her against a wall and pushed her on to a bed.

Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Haslam said the complainant was a voluntary worker at a recovery centre where she first met the defendant who has a brain injury after an assault.

Ms Haslam told a previous hearing the defendant took medication and this should not be taken with alcohol but sometimes the defendant would take both and he would become argumentative and moody.

On August 23, the complainant returned from shopping, according to Ms Haslam, and had brought chocolate for one of her children and the defendant was not happy about how money was being spent.

Ms Haslam told how the defendant refused to leave and as the complainant was phoning his father he grabbed her phone which fell to the floor and the screen smashed.

The complainant went upstairs to remove Tongue’s belongings, according to Ms Haslam, but he pushed her in the chest against a wall and he pushed her again and she fell on to a bed.

Tongue told police there had been an argument because he had been concerned about finances.

The defendant pleaded guilty to assault and causing damage after the incident on August 23.

Defence solicitor David Gittins said Tongue has difficulties after he had been the victim of an attack three years ago.

He said: “He finds it difficult because of his brain injury but he doesn’t blame his brain injury. He accepts what happened and wished he could go back because he’s not proud of himself.”

Tongue’s injury had been so serious that at the time of the attack his father had been told he was expected to die, according to Mr Gittins, and Tongue had remained in critical care for three months.

Mr Gittins added: “It’s something he’s going to have to cope with for the rest of his life and he needs coping mechanisms.”

Magistrates sentenced Tongue to a 12 month community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement for 20 days.

He was also fined £50 and must pay £100 compensation, £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.