A MAN has avoided jail after punching his ex-partner repeatedly in the head when he flew into a rage because she had not prepared his evening meal on time.
Magistrates determined Marc McCarthy’s assault on Samantha Goodman, who was five months pregnant with his child at the time, was “just below” the custody threshold.
He was given a two-year community order and told to attend a relationships counselling programme, following a sentencing hearing on Thursday, August 24.
The former chimney sweep had pleaded guilty to one charge of assault.
At the sentencing, Reading Magistrates Court heard how the 33-year-old had returned to the couple’s home in Theale one evening in January.
The court heard he had had a “long day” and had just seen his team, Reading FC, lose.
He had also had an argument with his local pub landlord.
Prosecuting for the crown, Claire Barclay told the court that Mr McCarthy, now living in Calcot, had then reacted violently when he discovered Ms Goodman did not have his dinner ready for him when he arrived home.
Ms Barclay told the court he grabbed a bottle of water Ms Goodman had been holding and poured it over her head before launching a physical attack.
In a statement read out to the court, Ms Goodman said: “He punched me four times in the head. He used some force to punch me. I had a headache for days afterwards.
“I was scared of him. He was both verbally and physically unpredictable.”
Ms Goodman’s six-year-old daughter from a previous relationship was also at the property, but did not witness the attack.
The court heard how their four-year relationship had since ended and there was no chance of a reconciliation between the pair.
Defending, Catherine Brymer explained: “It’s not a chauvinistic household - he will also make dinner.
“On this occasion the agreement was that dinner would be ready when he got home.
“This was just an incident that came out at the end of a long day.
“He was pushed to react, usually he wouldn’t react. He realises he reacted completely wrong and was stupid because she was heavily pregnant with his child.”
Magistrates were told Mr McCarthy, who works surfacing roads, had no previous violent convictions and were also presented with a character reference from his supervisor.
After a 15-minute deliberation, magistrates delivered their verdict.
“The discussion was, does this pass the custody threshold?” Mr McCarthy was told.
“After much discussion, we decided it is just below that.
“We are issuing a 24-month community order during which you will obey to the letter what probation say.
“If you break the order or breach the order you will be sent straight back to court.”
Magistrates also rejected an application for a restraining order, saying there was “just enough” reason to think it not necessary.
Mr McCarthy was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £85.