Dad spared prison after ‘rhino’ attack over cuppa

News: The Star - bringing you news on-line 24-hours a day.
News: The Star - bringing you news on-line 24-hours a day.

A VIOLENT man charged at the mother of his two children ‘like a rhino’ and knocked her unconscious after she failed to make him a cup of tea, a court heard.

Darren Atkinson was furious when Claire Hayes made herself a cuppa without asking if he wanted one.

Neil Coxon, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said: “He accused her of being selfish. She told him not to be childish and to make his own tea. He said if she did not shut up he would knock her head off.

“He charged towards her like a rhino and grabbed her by the throat and began to squeeze.”

Atkinson, aged 37, then gave 34-year-old Miss Hayes an uppercut to the nose and she fell backwards causing him to fall on top of her. He butted her in the face, but denied kicking or stamping on her.

She was left with a swollen and cut nose and aches and bruising to her body.

The attack happened in front of their two children, aged 13 and 10, at the home they used to share in Goodwin Crescent, Swinton.

A neighbour rang the police on hearing the commotion.

Atkinson admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.

Mr Coxon said the pair, whose relationship has now ended, had been ‘on-off’ for 18 years.

Sentencing, Judge Michael Murphy said he would not jail Atkinson since he had already served 121 days in prison on remand since court proceedings began last October.

But he told Atkinson: “You really ought to look at yourself. If you can do this to a woman because of an argument over a cup of tea, what are you capable of if there’s a serious dispute?”

Atkinson was given a supervised two-year community order and ordered to complete a domestic abuse programme.

He was also given a restraining order preventing him from contacting his former partner or going within 100m of her home.