Wife beater who attacked partner during lockdown abuse blamed it all on the dog

A man who put his partner through months of abuse during lockdown attempted to blame injuries on the couple's dog.

Craig Slaven, 51, had been with his partner for 24 years before his violence began, Preston Crown Court heard.

Slaven’s reliance on alcohol increased during the pandemic and caused him to become violent towards his partner.

As reported by LancsLive, the four horrific assaults took place between February and June this year.

Slaven, from Blackpool, stamped on her head with his shoes on one of the occasions and bit her during another separate assault.

On his arrest by police, he told them the woman's injuries were self-inflicted after she had been headbutted the door and said the dog was the one that bit her.

Slaven, of Central Drive, later pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Judge Simon Medland QC, described Slaven "in Dickensian terms" by saying: "Like Bill Sykes, when full of drink he becomes a horrendous wife beater."

Martineh Jabari, prosecuting, told the court: "She felt beaten down by the defendant."

As a result of the attacks, the woman's mental health deteriorated with trouble sleeping and some dizzy spells.

Ms Jabari added: "She feels vulnerable. She doesn't feel safe in her home."

The woman would avoid video calls with her children because she did not want them to see the bruises on her face as a result of Slaven’s abuse.

The court was told how Slaven has previous convictions for violence against two women.

Kim Obrusik, defending, said Slaven only began to become violent towards women when he was 40. She said he also began "self medicating" with alcohol to tackle his unresolved childhood issues.

Ms Obrusik said: "He found lockdown very difficult and that exacerbated his drug and alcohol issues.

"He doesn't seek to use that as an excuse but explains how a relationship which has not been marred by violence in 24 years has become violent."

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While sentencing Slaven for 27 months in prison, Judge Medland QC said: "Since 2013 your behaviour towards the women in your life has descended towards drunk violence.”

"Repeated assaults on the same partner in a domestic context is not an excuse but an aggravating feature."

In addition to the jail term, Judge Meland QC also issued a five year restraining order to protect Slaven's victim.

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