A domestic violence brute told his now ex-partner her face would be “unrecognisable” the following morning as he delivered a prolonged beating to the woman, having locked her into her home.

Gary Hull fell into a violent rage after waking to find his partner was sleeping in a spare room, late on February 25 into the early hours of the following morning.

Durham Crown Court was told he roused her with words along the lines of: “What the f*** are you doing here?”

He instructed her to take off her clothing, but she refused, and he suggested she would use any excuse not sleep with him.

The Northern Echo: Gary Hull given six year prison sentence at Durham Crown Court following his conviction for false

Hull then began to batter her around the head, as he accused her of winking at other men, which she denied.

Matthew Bean, prosecuting, said Hull started to slap her and said every time she lied to him, she would, “get it”.

He asked her a series of questions, doubting her loyalty to him and repeatedly called her a liar.

Hull struck her repeatedly, pinned her to the bedroom wall, punched her stomach, pulled her watch off and threw it at her, before striking her on the head with a metal vape.

Mr Bean said at one point she took the opportunity to run from the room, but Hull gave chase, grabbed her and took her back in, then told her that her face would be “unrecognisable” in the morning.

He also threatened to smash the house up and asked her how she would explain her injuries.

The fearful victim told Hull she would say she had fallen down the stairs.

He then told her to lie down as he again struck her face.

Mr Bean said the defendant had locked the front door, but when he fell asleep, his victim quietly slid out of bed, grabbed a dressing gown and managed to flee the house via the back door.

She clambered over a neighbour’s fence to get away.

Having hidden behind some bushes shivering, she was later able to knock up neighbours and then sought hospital treatment fearing she had a fractured eye socket.

On her return to her home after treatment she saw her house had been smashed up, with everything from the toilet bowl broken, holes in the wall, with household and personal items apparently taken by Hull and a cctv camera removed.

He had also slashed the tyres on her Volkswagen Golf car parked outside.

When he was later arrested and interviewed, Hull denied committing any offences and made no further response to questions.

The Northern Echo:

The 50-year-old defendant, of Grange Way, Bowburn, admitted two counts of criminal damage at the start of his trial, last week, but maintained his denials to other counts of false imprisonment and attempted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He was convicted of both following a four-day hearing last Friday (March 22) and was produced from custody to be sentenced for all four counts.

The court heard his 18 convictions for 37 offences include past cases of violence for which he served prison sentences, but none since 2008, and it was accepted he had kept out of trouble for some time.

A statement was read to the court by his victim, who addressed the defendant asking “why?” he behaved as he did.

She told him she had accepted his “sincere apology” after a previous break-up and had allowed him back into her life.

But she said he had manipulated his way back into her affections and proceeded to take away everything she had worked hard for, causing her pain, anger and frustration.

She told him: “I don’t know why you felt it right to beat my face black and blue.”

Apart from telling her she would be unrecognisable the following morning, she said Hull also told her he would drive her to a graveyard and kill her.

She said she hoped he could change his ways as, “the next person may not be so lucky”.

The court heard that she quit the job she loved as she struggled to cope with everyday life and spent six months undergoing counselling, while she remains on medication.

Ian West, representing the defendant, said he had not sought a pre-sentence report on the defendant by the Probation Service following his conviction last week.

“He accepts, as I do, that it has to be an immediate prison sentence for the offences on which the jury convicted him.”

Mr West conceded the assault was, “bad and prolonged”, causing, “unpleasant injuries”.

But he said they were not as serious as they could have been.

“The jury found that Mr Hull intended to cause more injury than in fact he did.”

He said the false imprisonment should be seen as, “part and parcel of the loss of control he experienced that night”.

Mr West said the defendant has been in custody since his arrest in February last year and has suffered a serious assault, himself, while in prison, sustaining a fractured jaw, eye socket and ear lobes.

“He’s had a difficult time in custody, but he doesn’t expect the court to extend much sympathy for him.”

Judge Nathan Adams told the defendant he had “imprisoned” his partner in her own home for several hours, during which he beat her repeatedly.

“This was a prolonged and persistent assault on someone in their own home, intending to cause her really serious harm.”

When she did manage to flee the house, she had to clamber over a fence and “cowered” behind some bushes, fearing Hull would wake and come looking for her.

Judge Adams said the subsequent damage caused by Hull when he did wake was, “particularly malicious”.

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Imposing a six-year prison sentence, Judge Adams said the defendant would have to serve up to two-thirds in prison before being eligible for release on licence.

The time he has spent on remand will count towards the duration of the sentence.

He made Hull subject to a restraining order prohibiting him from approaching or contacting his victim for the rest of his life.