A MAN has been branded as a potential high risk of causing serious harm to future female partners in the wake of a second domestic violence conviction within months.

The comments of a probation report author were echoed by a judge at Durham Crown Court, after he jailed Martin Hardy for his second violent domestic outburst.

Hardy, formerly of Maple Avenue, Shildon, who was said to be full of remorse, was given a chance to prove that, when Judge Christopher Prince imposed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, at the court in January, having been convicted of two counts of assault causing actual bodily harm after a trial.

The judge ordered Hardy to undergo 30 rehabilitation activity days and attend 21 sessions aimed at perpetrators of domestic violence, as part of the sentence.

But, three months after being sentenced, Hardy was back before Judge Prince for offences committed earlier in this month, following a dispute with a recent partner, at her home in Stanley.

Hardy, 28, now of Norton Road, Stockton, admitted common assault and criminal damage, breaching the suspended sentence.

Jonathan Harley, prosecuting, said during the late-night row Hardy attempted to head butt his fearful partner, smashed her land-line phone when she tried to ring the police and repeatedly pushed her against a wall.

Johnathan Walker, mitigating, said it was obvious the judge had taken, “a significant chance” passing the suspended sentence in January.

“He was not a young man who set out to disregard the chance and it’s clear he performed well, attending the sessions regularly and was engaging.”

But Mr Walker said, after the recent offence, Hardy still needs to address his drink consumption and behaviour with women when in drink.

Jailing him for 11 months, Judge Prince told Hardy: “You were given a chance in January, but within months you carried out a sustained and repeated assault, causing great distress.”

The judge added it was a concern that he is now considered to pose a high risk of causing serious harm on any woman he may be living with, or with whom he may in a future relationship.

He put in place a restraining order forbidding Hardy from trying to contact or approach his most recent partner, “without limit of time”.