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Thug who kicked partner in head walks free from court with her

An aggressive boyfriend who kicked and stamped on his partner’s head left court with her after avoiding a jail term.

Connor Burns claimed that his girlfriend Charlie Carter attacked him first and reported that his actions were “excessive self-defence”.

However, mobile phone footage recorded by a horrified witness showcased his “ferocious” attack on the defenceless victim, reports Liverpool Echo.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how 28-year-old unemployed Burns, from Merseyside, is actually Ms Carter’s carer.

She accompanied him to court and when an image of a cut to her head was shown, commented: “It’s a scratch.”

Bernice Campbell, prosecuting, said the attack was witnessed by a mother and daughter from Scotland, who visited Liverpool on June 22.

They stayed at the Premier Inn hotel at Moorfields and were asleep in their fourth floor room, which overlooked Vernon Street, when they were awoken at around 3.30am on June 23 by “screaming and shouting” and looked out of the window.

Ms Campbell said they described a man in all dark clothing “shouting abuse” at the victim, who was on the ground.

She said: “The male – the defendant – was shouting ‘you filthy b***h’, ‘you dirty bastard’ and ‘you f***ing whore’.

“The male in the dark clothing grabbed the hair of the victim, it appeared to be long dark hair and a wig, and it actually came off as the defendant pulled at it, with the victim holding on to their head.”

Connor Burns (left) kicked and stamped on his partner Charlie Carter (right) who supported him in court

The daughter saw the victim receive “several punches to the face” from Burns.

Ms Campbell said: “She said the victim was on the floor, she saw kicking to the victim who was prone, and stamping on her head. She states she was scared and worried for the person.”

Her shocked mum started videoing the attack, which “made her feel quite sick”.

Ms Campbell said: “She said the defendant was vicious and deliberately trying to hurt the person lying on the floor.”

They called police, who took photos of Ms Carter’s injuries, but she refused to make a statement.

Burns admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and possessing cannabis.

Martyn Walsh, defending, said Burns admitted the assault on a basis of plea, but didn’t maintain any comments he made in a pre-sentence report that were “at odds” with what was shown on the video.

The judge, Recorder Daniel Prowse, said Burns suggested “excessive self-defence”, which he found “difficult to accept”.

Burns hung his head in shame as the clip was played in court, before photos of Ms Carter’s injuries, including a cut to her head, were shown onscreen.

Recorder Prowse said there wasn’t any medical evidence, but there was “a visible injury that has bled on the forehead”.

Ms Carter – sitting in the public gallery – said “it’s a scratch” and continued talking as Ms Campbell discussed sentencing guidelines.

The judge said she was “shaking her head, sighing loudly, rolling her eyes”, which made it “very difficult to concentrate”.

He told Ms Carter: “If you continue to do what you’re doing, I will have you thrown out.”

She said “I’m sorry” and added: “I’m the person in that video.”

Recorder Prowse said: “I don’t care who you are, it’s important this hearing is fair and that means I need to concentrate.”

Mr Walsh asked for full credit for Burns’ early guilty plea and said he had never been in trouble before.

He said his client was 28, but “talking to Mr Burns, he’s significantly less mature than perhaps that age”.

Mr Walsh said there were “good sides” to his client, who had qualifications and worked in the past.

He said the report referred to his “upbringing” and matters he wouldn’t repeat in open court, which had led to “difficulties”.

Mr Walsh conceded it was a “deeply unpleasant event”.

He said: “Mr Burns through me is remorseful and it’s genuine remorse. A man in alcohol I’m afraid on that evening became somebody who was out of control.”

Mr Walsh said there was no application for a restraining order and “the two parties wish to be together”.

He said: “He tells me he’s a carer for the complainant in this case, due to a variety of circumstances and issues that the other person faces.”

Recorder Prowse said the fact the witnesses heard the incident from a fourth floor gave an indication of how loud Burns must have shouted.

The judge said: “These were horrible things to say to anyone, particularly someone who is your partner.”

He said the witnesses saw Burns “land several punches to the victim’s face”.

Recorder Prowse said: “Your victim is on the floor, your victim is not moving. You can see kicking.

“I saw you lining a kick up with the person’s head on the floor and kicking them in the face and there was stamping.”

He said the attack was so “ferocious” the witnesses feared for Ms Carter.

The judge said: “It was vicious and it was deliberately trying to cause harm to somebody who was on the floor, prone, unmoving, while you attacked.”

Recorder Prowse added: “I deal with murder cases where someone kicks someone in the head, they have a bleed on the brain and they die. That’s how dangerous this could have been.”

He said having observed Burns watching the video, “it’s apparent to me how much you regret your actions that night”.

The judge said it was a matter for the couple whether they wished to remain together, but told Burns: “Your card is marked now.

Connor Burns walked free from court
Connor Burns walked free from court

“You’ve got a domestic violence conviction for a serious assault and from now on the police and everybody else will be watching you extremely carefully.”

Recorder Prowse said: “I’ve seen the cut you caused, it’s not as deep as a wound, but it caused bleeding and no doubt at some point there was bruising and pain.”

He said Burns would be sentenced on his basis of plea, “which is this began with you being assaulted by your victim and being pushed over and you responded to that, which in my judgement is a significant degree of provocation”.

The judge said he believed there was “sincere remorse”, a realistic prospect of rehabilitation and if he jailed Burns, there would be an impact on Ms Carter, who he cares for.

He gave him 20 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and told him to complete a Building Better Relationships course, a 10-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £200 court costs.

If you have been affected by any issues mentioned in this article, you can contact the Domestic Violence Helpline for free on 0808 2000 247 or any of the following organisations:

Women’s Aid

Refuge

White Ribbon

ALICAS

People can also call Merseyside Police on 101 or, if they are in immediate danger, call 999.

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