Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Husband Knocks Wife Out Cold During Celebratory Birthday Night

A Suffolk couple's weekend birthday celebrations ended in yet another row, with the husband knocking his wife unconscious and carrying her prone body around London's busy streets until shocked passers-by raised the alarm.

Powerfully-built Norman Goodchild, 28, of Fair Close, Beccles decked the mother of his two children, Gemma Martin, with a single blow, which caused a three-centimetre cut to the back of her head as she struck the pavement.

Highbury Corner Magistrates Court heard the couple have a history of domestic turbulence during their eight-year relationship, with Goodchild convicted of battery in 2009 and later receiving a caution for assault.

He has been forced to move out of town while on bail for the court case and now lives in Jubilee Close, Corston, Norwich.

Goodchild pleaded guilty at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court to assaulting Gemma, causing her actual bodily harm, in St. Giles Street, Bloomsbury on August 8.

Yesterday he received twenty-six weeks imprisonment, suspended for twelve months and must complete 180 hours community service work and complete a twenty-day rehabilitation requirement.

The court made a two-year restraining order, prohibiting him contacting Ms Martin or visiting the former matrimonial home, and he was ordered to pay a £180 court charge, £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Prosecutor Miss Penny Ferguson told the court today: “The defendant and Ms Martin have had an on-off relationship, which has a violent history and she says she has been assaulted in the past.”

They were celebrating Goodchild's twenty-eighth birthday in the West End and met another couple he knew, who lived locally, for night out.

They went to a bar in Denmark Street, Soho, but the defendant and his friend kept going to the toilet and Ms Martin, tired of their drug-taking, decided to leave.”

Ms Martin was at the couple's nearby flat when Goodchild returned in a temper. “He said that she had made no effort to contact him and she said she had no mobile phone and did not know his number off by heart.

The defendant grabbed his wife's bag and went back out onto the street, with Ms Martin following because it had all her possessions in it and she did not want to be stranded.

She grabbed her friend's mobile phone on the way and a witness sitting in a parked van saw Goodchild snatch it out of her hand, stamp on it and throw it at her.

The witness described the couple shouting in the street and this defendant slapping Ms Martin's face, causing her to fall to the floor and be knocked unconscious.

Several witnesses then saw the defendant carrying the unconscious Ms Martin towards Charing Cross Road and passers-by persuaded him to put her down and an ambulance was called.

As she was being treated by the ambulance crew Mr. Goodchild tried to get into the vehicle with her, but Ms Martin objected and he was ordered out.”

Goodchild did not wait for the police and returned to Beccles, where he handed himself into a local station and made no comment when questioned.

Ms Martin says she does not remember anything between arguing in the street with her husband to waking up in the back of the ambulance,” added Miss Ferguson.

Goodchild's lawyer Mr. Nathan Seymour-Hyde said: “He's embarrassed and ashamed and has shown genuine remorse and says it is scary what could have happened.

Both parties had consumed a lot of alcohol and Ms Martin had left the bar for a cigarette and not returned and Mr. Goodchild went to the flat an hour-and-a-half later.

He says she tried to grab some keys from him and he turned instinctively, a rush of blood to the head, and then picked her up and was trying to carry her back to the flat.”

The lawyer said any restraining order would make things very difficult for Goodchild in having access to his two and four year-old children.

District Judge Julia Newton told him: “You have in the past received a suspended sentence for assaulting the same complainant and were also cautioned for assault.

What happened in the early hours could have been much more serious than it ultimately was.”

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