‘Appalling’ attack on girlfriend by man who fell asleep on puppy


A Leighton Buzzard man punched, strangled, head-butted and bit his girlfriend when she woke him up because he had fallen asleep on her puppy.

They had celebrated New Year’s Eve at a party, where he had drunk beer and a large amount of gin, before returning to her home in Leighton Buzzard to sleep it off.

Prosecutor Kevin Barry told Luton Crown Court today (Thursday) that it was 8.30am when Jade Benbow, 23, noticed that Robert Pinnock had rolled over onto the dog.

She roused him and Pinnock, also 23, punched her in the face.

“She hit him back and he punched her a second time. He put his hands around her neck and started to strangle her. She pulled his little finger to release his grip, but it left livid red marks on her neck. It was a very strong grip.

“The defendant then head-butted her above the right eye and knocked her back. He then bit her on the abdomen,” said Mr Barry.

She was taken to hospital and Pinnock himself called the police saying he had beaten up his girlfriend. He told the officers he had drunk very heavily the night before, downing a great deal of gin and some beer. Pinnock went on: “What have I done to my baby? I want to be punished.”

Jobless Pinnock, of Oakfields Gardens, Meadow Way, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm on January 1 this year. He had no previous convictions but had received reprimands from the police when he was a teenager for criminal damage and theft from a vehicle.

Mr Barry said the police had been called out to the couple in the past when there had been “vocal arguments.”

David Backhouse, defending, said they had gone together to a New Year’s Eve party, but she had been unwell and returned home. He went back to the party and had too much to drink.

Judge Philip Bartle QC told him: “It was appalling, violent behaviour. There is not a shred of mitigation in relation to the offence, but you accepted immediately that you had committed violence. You called the police and said it was you who had caused the injuries.”

He passed a 12-month jail sentence suspended for 12 months with 12 months’ supervision. He must abide by a three-month electronically-monitored curfew between 8pm and 7am and carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work.

The judge made a Restraining Order against Pinnock for the next 10 years. He must not contact Ms Benbow or go to her home in Meadow Way.