Domestic violence man due to marry victim in Selston

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.

A man who hit his partner in front of her teenage son three times on the same day in Selston is due to marry her later this month, a court heard.

Thomas Grogan got angry when his partner refused to drive him to Chesterfield to meet a friend and he slapped her on the back of the head, on June 25, said prosecutor Simon Rowe.

Later on, as she was driving past Selston High School with her 15-year-old son, she saw him sprawled on the floor and “shouting random things at people who were passing.”

When she finally got him into the car he became angry and punched the rearview mirror.

His partner arranged to drop him off with his mother, but when they met, outside the Co-Op in Selston, his mother started blaming her for Grogan’s behaviour.

He backhanded his partner across the face and said: “I did that so you have my blood on you.”

His partner’s son witnessed the incident and was left looking “confused and scared,” said Mr Rowe.

As his partner began transferring Grogan’s things into this mother’s car, he shoved her with both hands so she fell on to the grass, and began calling her names.

When he laid on the grass with a bottle of vodka, his mother decided she wasn’t prepared to take the defendant home and the items were put back in his partner’s car.

“He leaned forward and slapped her with an open palm on the face,” said Mr Rowe.

“She ultimately took him home and put him to bed to allow him to sleep it off.”

On July 4, he became angry because she had been out shopping and shouted: “I am going to smash you.”

As his partner backed away he threw a pair of trainers at her face, splitting her lip and causing it to bleed and swell.

Her 15-year-old son witnessed the aftermath of the attack.

“Grogan made a comment to the effect that the trainers have done it,” said Mr Rowe.

The court heard they had been in a relationship since January, this year, and his behaviour was “up and down”.

His partner later retracted the complaints, and wrote a letter to the court saying she wants to marry him, and that Grogan has an appointment at King’s Mill Hospital, in August, to address his mental health problems.

David Cusack, mitigating, said Grogan, who has a long criminal record, had been trying to turn his life around since December 2016.

“They have known each other for a long time and he has promised to put his offending in the past,” Mr Cusack said.

He said the offences were committed during a “short period in which he wasn’t taking his medication.”

“Nobody is trying to justify what happened,” added Mr Cusack. “He wants to rebuild the trust that they have.”

Grogan, 38, of Maple Drive, Belper, admitted four counts of assault, and one of criminal damage, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Wednesday.

District judge Jonathan Taaffe told him: “You wife-to-be has had her trust breached on numerous occasions and your stepson has had to witness domestic violence and appalling behaviour on more than one occasion.

“There’s an expression, effectively, that people don’t change their spots. Time will tell. History tells us that people who commit domestic violence do so on a regular basis.

“I would suggest to your partner that if she puts herself and her children at the forefront of matters, you wouldn’t be in her life. But that’s not a matter for me.”

He handed Grogan 26 weeks in prison, plus four weeks for the criminal damage, which will be suspended for two years. He also ordered £85 costs and a £115 government surcharge.

District judge Taaffe told him: “If this behaviour is repeated I would urge your partner to report it to the authorities and you will be dealt with accordingly.”