Mentally-ill man slapped and grabbed his ex by the neck

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A mentally-troubled man who assaulted his former partner twice and made her life hell has been given a chance to turn his life around.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, November 8, how James Hooper, 23, woke at Cauldon Drive, Chesterfield, and slapped his ex-partner and during a second incident at the same address he grabbed her by the neck and threatened to hit her.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said Hooper’s ex-partner described the relationship as controlling and Hooper would take her money and she would not be allowed to do anything and she decided to go into a refuge.

However, she felt insecure and isolated so she went back into the relationship, according to Mrs Allsop, but his controlling behaviour continued and she was assaulted twice.

Mrs Allsop said Hooper had been drunk and had an argument with a neighbour before the couple went to bed but he woke up wanting to know where his cannabis was and he slapped her across the face and took her phone and locked the door.

Less than a month later Hooper had been very drunk, according to Mrs Allsop, and he left a pub before returning and behaving as if he had taken drugs.

Mrs Allsop said Hooper later accused people in a chip shop of staring at him and when he returned home with his partner he threw chips across the room and accused his partner of treating him like dirt before grabbing her by the neck and threatening to hit her.

The victim stated Hooper made her life hell by his behaviour and she has been left worrying what he will do next.

Hooper originally told police he had been woken and was told he had slapped his ex-partner but he felt she had been the one who had hit him and he denied he had prevented her from calling police.

He added that the couple had both been drinking and smoking cannabis on the day he allegedly grabbed her neck and he initially denied ever attacking her.

However, Hooper pleaded guilty to assaulting his partner with a slap in September and also pleaded guilty to assaulting her after he grabbed her by the neck in October.

Serena Simpson, defending, said Hooper is genuinely remorseful and after he has received mental health care he has become aware of what has been happening in his life which has been masked by alcohol and drugs.

She added Hooper had no real memory of what happened due to drug and alcohol misuse but he accepts committing the offences.

Ms Simpson said Hooper, now of Franchise Street, Derby, has undergone rehabilitation for his addictions and he understands he needs to remain on this path to recovery and he wants to get a job.

District Judge Andrew Davison sentenced Hooper to a 12 month community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and a six-month mental health treatment requirement.

Hooper was also fined £100 and ordered to pay £150 compensation and £85 costs.

He also received a three-year restraining order.