“I must make it entirely clear that courts in this country deplore this form of violence,” a judge told a Sheffield man as he jailed him for a ‘violent and prolonged’ attack on his former partner.
The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, sentenced Patrick Creaghan to 12 months in prison for offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and breaching a restraining order, during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court today.
“The circumstances of this case, taken as a whole, cannot in any way justify a suspended sentence order. I would be failing in my public responsibility if I did anything other than impose an immediate custodial sentence,” said Judge Richardson as he sent him to prison.
Prosecutor, Brain Outhwaite, said that when Creaghan, 52, and the complainant’s relationship began in January 2014 things were initially ‘fine’ between them, but after a year together he became ‘controlling and jealous’.
“She brought it to an end when there was an assault, for which there is a conviction on the defendant’s record,” said Mr Outhwaite.
The complainant took a restraining order out against Creaghan, of Thornbridge Rise, Frecheville at the time of his conviction in January 2016.
Mr Outhwaite told the court that despite the restraining order, the pair rekindled their relationship in August last year, when the complainant contacted Creaghan following the breakdown of another relationship and his recent return to the Sheffield area.
The prosecutor described how Creaghan’s behaviour soon reverted to form, and he responded to problems in their relationship by shouting, banging on her windows and rattling her letter box when he attended at her home uninvited.
Mr Outhwaite said Creaghan also began sending her abusive text messages, as well as alcohol and what Mr Outhwaite described as a ‘satanic bible’ through the post.
“She began to feel terrified of the defendant,” said Mr Outhwaite.
Their turbulent relationship finally came to an end after Creaghan assaulted her again on February 21, when she visited his property hoping to collect some of her belongings.
“The defendant asked her to go to bed with him. She refused, and said he flew at her, grabbing her hair and pulling her around.
“Her face was pushed against the wall several times and she was knocked unconscious. She came around with the defendant on top of her, straddling her. He was screaming and pushing fingers into her eyes.”
Creaghan pleaded guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing.
Christopher Rowe, defending, told the court that Creaghan was under the influence of alcohol and drugs, which he said was not an explanation for his ‘conduct’ but provided context.
Mr Rowe said Creaghan ‘suffered a difficult childhood’ and had abused alcohol as an adult as a consequence of this.
He added that his life was now back on track after accessing alcohol treatment, and after marrying his new partner, who he is a full time carer for.
As he passed sentence, Judge Richardson said he had considered Creaghan’s mitigation, such as his ‘shocking’ childhood and the impact his incarceration would have on his new wife, but found he had no option but to jail him.
Judge Richardson granted an indefinite restraining order that prevents Creaghan from contacting the complainant, and told him the 122 days he has already spent on curfew would count towards his sentence.
- South Yorkshire Police have been asked to provide a custody image of Creaghan