Man pushes his girlfriend down flight of stairs

FORMER alcoholic Derek Hopkins burst into tears and confessed to his probation officer that he had thrown his girlfriend down the stairs, a court heard. The victim, Lorraine Rayner, had not reported the assault to police because she was afraid of the cons

FORMER alcoholic Derek Hopkins burst into tears and confessed to his probation officer that he had thrown his girlfriend down the stairs, a court heard.

The victim, Lorraine Rayner, had not reported the assault to police because she was afraid of the consequences, but later gave evidence at Hopkins' trial.

Hopkins was found guilty of assault, and this week Fenland magistrates gave him a four-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months.

Prosecutor David Myles told the court that Ms Rayner received an incoherent phone call from Hopkins, who had cut his elbow.


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She went to his flat, climbing a flight of stairs, but Hopkins refused to seek medical help.

"There was an argument at the top of the stairs, he pushed her from behind the shoulders," said. "She did not fall far because of the corner on the stairs. She fell six to eight feet."

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Ms Rayner suffered pain in her back for three days after the incident, which took place between March 29 and April 5.

Mitigating, solicitor James Macwhirter said the former merchant navy man had previously suffered from an entrenched alcohol addiction, but stopped drinking 78 days ago.

"It was only through good fortune that serious injury was not caused to Lorraine Rayner," he said. "It was an impulsive rather than a planned action, and thankfully there was no significant injury."

Hopkins could remember nothing of the alleged incident, he added.

Over the next 12 months, Hopkins will be supervised by the probation service. He must pay £100 compensation and £300 costs.

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