A MAN who hit his partner across the face, knocking her down, was brought to justice because her teenage daughter filmed the assault on her mobile phone.
The short video filmed by the 15-year-old girl was played to Judge Jamie Tabor QC at Gloucester Crown Court before he passed sentence on violent Darren Lonsdale, 35, formerly of Coldwell Lane, King’s Stanley, Stonehouse.
The video showed Lonsdale and his partner Kelly Smart in the kitchen of her home at Bridgend, near Stonehouse, with several of her children.
Lonsdale knelt down as if doing up a shoelace. A moment later he stood and slapped his partner hard across her face.
She recoiled and moved out into the hallway where she went down to the floor and was surrounded protectively by her distraught younger children.
Lonsdale, 35, now living in Hazelwood drive, Leeds, pleaded guilty to assaulting Ms Smart by beating on December 11 2013.
He also admitted that the offence was committed in breach of a suspended sentence he received in 2012 for assaulting a 71-year-old man who was visiting his home.
And he admitted that he has six previous convictions for violence, including a domestic assault 10 years ago.
Prosecutor Janine Wood said Kelly Smart had made no complaint about the assault and it would not have been reported to the police if it had not been for the girl showing her mobile phone video to an uncle.
When the uncle saw it he reported Lonsdale to the police and he was arrested.
The victim, however, has not wished to support the prosecution of Lonsdale.
Judge Tabor told Lonsdale that despite his “long and unimpressive record for violence” and his breach of the suspended sentence he would not lock him up.
“The really serious matter about this offence was that you did it without concern for the children,” said the judge.
“That is a disgrace. It will have a long-term effect on them, no doubt.”
The judge said that apart from the assault, however, Lonsdale’s behaviour since his 2012 conviction had been good and he had been receiving help with a post traumatic stress disorder caused by witnessing a murder when he was in his teens.
“You could have no complaint if I sent you to prison today,” said the judge.
“But I think it is more important that you continue to have treatment for your post traumatic stress and that you are taught the wickedness of behaving the way you did in front of those children.
“Going to prison for a few months is not going to teach you that.
“Probation service rigorous programmes might be more effective.”
The judge sentenced him to a 15-month community order with supervision and a requirement to attend a 30-day activity programme.
He ordered Lonsdale to pay £60 costs and a £60 victim surcharge – and he extended the period of suspension of the 32-week sentence he received in 2012 from 15 months to two years.
“I have not activated the suspended sentence with a great deal of hesitation,” the judge said.
“I think the better outcome for all concerned is to get to the root of the problem of why you behave as you do.”