AN evidence-led prosecution has resulted in a man being jailed for brutally attacking a woman with a rolling pin.

Matthew Watson attacked the woman after becoming irate while she was talking to a friend on the phone on May 11 this year.

The 34-year-old attempted to grab the phone off the woman before hitting her on the back of her head with the rolling pin.

He then dragged her onto the floor where he stamped on her head and legs and kicked her repeatedly in the stomach.

Officers attended the property and arrested Watson, who was later charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Watson, of Croft Gardens, Ferryhill, pleaded guilty to the offence and was jailed for 18-months at Durham Crown Court earlier this month.

Although the woman did not support a police investigation, officers pursued the case through an evidence-led prosecution due to the severity of the incident.

Evidence-led prosecutions are used when a victim either withdraws their support during an investigation, or refuses to support an investigation from the outset.

It sees police and prosecutors build robust cases in which they do not need to rely on the victim’s evidence.

Safeguarding Investigative Officer Hayley Smith, from Durham Constabulary, led the investigation.

She said: “Although the victim in this case did not support a prosecution, I am pleased our investigation has resulted in Watson – a violent and dangerous man – being jailed.

“We are here to safeguard people and protect them from harm.

"When someone has come to harm at the hands of another person, we will do everything in our power to keep them safe and bring their perpetrator to justice.

“In cases such as this where victims are not supportive of an investigation, but a prosecution is in the public interest, we work extremely hard to build a watertight case that does not rely on evidence from victims to ensure offenders face the justice they deserve.

“If you believe someone you know is suffering at the hands of an abuser, then please speak to us.

"We will do everything we can to protect them, support them, and keep them safe from harm.

“Please call us on 101, or 999 in an emergency. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.”