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'Immature’ man who hit girlfriend escapes jail
10:00am Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
A man with a string of assaults against women has escaped an immediate prison sentence after giving an early guilty plea to the assault of his former girlfriend.
Mark Tetley, 23, was described at Skipton Magistrates Court on Friday as a “serial perpetrator of domestic assault”.
Prosecutor, Caroline Midgley said Tetley had assaulted his mother, Helen Wray, his sister, Sharon Tetley, and his former girlfriend, Emma Barrett twice.
His latest assault of Miss Barrett, in July, had been committed while he was part way through a community order for a previous assault against her.
Mrs Midgley said Tetley and Miss Barrett had been involved in a volatile relationship since 2012.
Tetley was increasingly dependent on alcohol and, when in drink, the pair argued, often resulting in physical violence towards Miss Barrett.
In a statement, Miss Barrett had said she had been frightened to report incidents of violence to the police because “she loved him” and did not want to get him into trouble.
On July 18, the pair had been drinking since early in the morning, had met Tetley’s mother in Skipton before returning to her house in North Parade, where more drinking had taken place.
Tetley had gone off for a sleep and, when he woke up, had joined Miss Barrett on the sofa and had found a £10 note hidden in her bra.
Mrs Midgley said Miss Barrett had hidden away the money, from her benefits, to pay the £3.80 bus fare to get her to a hospital appointment. She feared Tetley would spend it on alcohol if he found it.
He responded angrily, pinned her down and swung his arms at her, catching her lip and causing her to bleed.
When the police arrived, Miss Barrett was in a distressed state with a swollen lip and, at first, was too scared to go outside to the ambulance in case Tetley saw her.
Tetley, who pleaded guilty at his first hearing to common assault, was not a serial perpetrator of domestic violence, but just “immature”, the court was told by the defence.
In mitigation, John Mewies said he had experienced a chaotic few months, but that his main problem was his increasing dependence on alcohol.
He said it was clear that both Tetley and Miss Barrett, who had since moved from North Yorkshire, had been drinking throughout the day and Tetley could remember little of what had happened.
He added rather than deny the assault and put Miss Barrett through the distress of a trial, he had done the right thing and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
“It has dawned on him that the relationship is at an end and it is unlikely that the two will come into contact again in the foreseeable future,” said Mr Mewies.
Magistrates handed Tetley, of Belle Vue Terrace, a 14 week prison sentence suspended for two years and told him it would have been for 20 weeks if he had not entered an early guilty plea.
He will also have two years supervision and be required to attend 30 sessions of a programme designed to deal with better relationships. Costs of £85, a victims surcharge of £80 and compensation of £100 to Miss Barrett were also awarded.
Magistrates further agreed to a two year restraining order barring Tetley from contacting Miss Barrett in any way, including electronically, or going within 200 metres of Westmoreland Street, Skipton.