Christening led to horror attack

Peter Gilligan
Peter Gilligan
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An abusive man repeatedly smashed his partner’s head off a cabinet and dragged her around by the cheeks and hair in a terrifying drunken rage.

Peter Gilligan was locked up for 28 months after losing his temper and abusing his girlfriend at their Thornton home, leaving her with bruises on her face which required hospital treatment.

Preston Crown Court heard Gilligan, 38, from Elmwood Drive, was drinking heavily at a christening in August and started arguing with his partner when they arrived home.

The defendant did not allow her into the home at first, leading to tempers flaring and the woman being put on the floor and dragged by the cheeks and hair, and dragged through various rooms when she was eventually allowed in.

Francis McEntee, prosecuting, said Gilligan repeatedly hit her head on a cabinet while holding her hair.

He pleaded guilty to offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, criminal damage and sending an offensive message, which was sent to his partner after the attack.

The court heard that more than four months earlier, a Manchester court had given Gilligan a suspended prison sentence for harassment and battery against someone else.

Michael James, defending, said Gilligan had hoped he had moved on from his past, where he had committed offences of domestic violence.

His life appeared to be moving in a better direction. He had known the woman who became his partner for years and she knew about his background.

Mr James said: “He hoped their relationship would continue well, but unfortunately, alcohol played a part.

“They fell out and he left the party.

“She came to him and there was clearly an incident in which she was injured.

“He expects a custodial sentence”.

Sentencing Gilligan, Judge Simon Newell said: “This was a serious incident of domestic violence, with a vulnerable victim.

“There was a long period of aggression before, during and after the assault. You have a record for violence.”

A restraining order was made barring the defendant from contacting or trying to contact the woman.