Prudhoe brute with history of violence against women headbutted girlfriend in face
A brute with a history of violence against women has been jailed after he headbutted his partner in the face.
Thomas Monnelly subjected his girlfriend to a campaign of controlling and coercive behaviour, which also saw him drag her around, throw liquids over her and slap her on the cheek.
A court heard that arguments often flared between the pair during their volatile relationship due to them both regularly drinking to excess and taking drugs. However, on four occasions, the verbal fights turned physical, when Monnelly “perceived she wasn’t putting his needs first or his jealousy got the better of him”.
The 27-year-old’s violent behaviour finally came to light when he headbutted the victim in the face, causing her nose to swell and bruise. The woman’s boss noticed the injury and she broke down and told him what had happened, Newcastle Crown Court was told.
Now, Monnelly, who was jailed in 2019 for assaulting an ex-partner, has been locked up once more, this time for nine months, after he pleaded guilty to continuously engaging in coercive or controlling behaviour. Recorder Anthony Dunne said: “It seems you argued and became angry with her when you perceived she was not putting your needs first or your jealousy got the better of you.
“You were under the influence of alcohol and drugs. You poured liquids over her, broke her mobile phone, dragged her around, slapped her across the face, called her abusive names and headbutted her in the face causing some injury. I have seen a photo of that taken by [the victim].
“It seems [the victim] very much wanted the relationship with you to work and, for a time, it seems it did work but, ultimately, it broke down and you behaved towards her in the ways described. She felt your behaviour was her fault. It affected her relationship with her family and at work and she felt worthless.”
The court heard that Monnelly, of Biverfield Road, in Prudhoe, and the victim started a relationship in November 2020 but it turned volatile in August the following year. Omar Ahmed, prosecuting, said the pair stayed in a hotel room on August 25 after going out drinking in Newcastle City Centre and Monnelly damaged a TV in their room while she was sleeping. The following month, after another argument, Monnelly threw liquid over the woman and, in doing so, left a mark on her face where the watch on his wrist had hit her.
In December the same year, Monnelly pushed the victim and dragged her around, while another incident during the same month saw him slap her across the face, causing her lip to split, Mr Ahmed said.
In March this year, Monnelly grabbed the victim’s phone and bent it across his knee, causing it to break, before grabbing her by the jaw and pushing her against a wall. Mr Ahmed continued: “[The victim] scratched the defendant to try and get him off her. He let go and she said “you don’t get to do that”. The defendant headbutted her with his head, hitting the bridge of her nose.
“She felt immediate pain and heard a cracking noise. She started to cry and the defendant said sorry.”
In a statement following Monnelly’s arrest, the victim said: “Thomas has changed me. It didn’t matter how much her hurt me, I just wanted to make us work. I wanted it to be like how we were at the beginning of the relationship.”
The court heard that Monnelly, who has 52 offences on his record, had pleaded guilty on a basis, which was that both he and the victim suffered from problems with alcohol and drugs and she had, on occasion, assaulted him, which he didn’t report. Prosecutors accepted that basis.
Rachel Hedworth, defending, said Monnelly agreed his behaviour was unacceptable and that the relationship was “toxic”. Ms Hedworth added: “There’s no excuse for the offending and, clearly, there has been issues historically. He has reached a point now, despite being 27, that he recognises he needs to grow up and grow up fast and stop acting in this utterly unacceptable way.”
Ms Hedworth said Monnelly was remorseful and had now sought help for his drug and alcohol issues.