Man escapes jail after punching woman

A WOOLER man has been given a 12-week suspended prison sentence for punching a woman several times after ‘seeing red’.

Berwick Magistrates’ Court heard that Nicholas Stuart Redpath, 23, of High Street entered Julie Johnson’s property on October 17 to confront her about rumours she had been spreading.

The prosecution said that Julie Johnson was watching a DVD when Redpath came through the back door and punched her in the face. She got to her feet but he grabbed her by the throat and hit her six times.

Redpath left her with a split above her left eyebrow, bruising to her neck and under her chin. Redpath admitted punching her while she was on the sofa and twice while she was on the floor.

Ms Johnson claimed Redpath punched her six or seven times as well as grabbing her by the throat. As reported in the Gazette last week, a previous court found her version of events to be the ‘most plausible’.

John Brown, defending, said: “He accepts that she was vulnerable in her own home.

“Julie Johnson had been spreading rumours saying that my client was having an affair with the girlfriend of Jamie Jeffrey Burnlees. She had it in mind to cause this couple problems.”

The door had not been locked when Redpath entered. He assaulted the victim but left when he was told to leave.

Mr Brown said: “He tried to reason with her, asking why she was saying these things. But she was laughing and smiling and smirking. That’s when he started shouting at her saying ‘why are you doing this’. That’s why he reacted the way he did.”

He added: “It doesn’t seem to have had any effect on Julie Johnson at all. Since then she has been accused of being the getaway driver in one incident and she comes before you on another matter – stealing Mr Burlee’s mobile phone, which shows she had some involvement with Mr Burlees.”

Mr Flynn, for the probation service, told the court that Redpath said he had ‘saw red’ when Julie Johnson appeared to be disregarding what he had to say.

He said: “It’s his first offence of violence of any kind. He says he is sorry for what he has done, it was an isolated matter out of character for him. He accepts he acted dangerously and shows remorse.”

As well as a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, Redpath was ordered to pay £250 compensation to the victim and complete 240 hours of unpaid work.