Former Marlborough fireman gets community order & curfew for assault on mother of his children
Benjamin Collins was on a suspended sentence for drug dealing when he set about the woman in a row over his tobacco. But after hearing the 34-year-old now had work as a steel fabrication installer and had tackled his addiction, a judge at Swindon Crown Court imposed a community order.
Rob Welling, prosecuting, said Collins was at home with his partner on the evening of Friday, March 16 with children aged two years and 11 weeks. He said the defendant asked her if she knew where his tobacco was and got angry when she said she didn't know.
"If Ben doesn't get his way he will usually have a tantrum. It is as if the world is about him when he loses his temper," she told the police. She was in bed with the two-year-old when Collins yanked her by the ankles and pulled her on to the floor, winding her.
The former fireman then pushed her down with his knee and as she hit him to try and free herself, he slapped her back. As she tried to get the children away he again pulled her off the bed, winding her for a second time.
Mr Welling said that when Collins was arrested he seemed to be aggrieved at what she had done to him, saying in interview that she gave as good as she got.
Collins, of Cherry Orchard, Marlborough, pleaded guilty to common assault and criminal damage to her mobile phone
In February 2017, Collins had been given a two year jail term suspended for 24 months after admitting possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply. The previous August police raided his home at Baylie Acre where they found both drugs hidden under his bed.
Will Rose, defending Collins on the assault charge, said his client felt he was bullied while in the fire service and struggled to cope after leaving his job: "He recognises that alcohol and drugs do not make him an attractive character."
Passing sentence Judge Robert Pawson said: "If you appear in front of a court again you are unlikely to get another bite of the cherry."
He passed an eighteen month community order with a curfew on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for two months, and probation work to include a relationship programme.