Man, 46, assaulted ex-girlfriend and stole her mobile

A Newmarket man assaulted his former partner before stealing her mobile phone, a court heard.

Christopher Smith, 46, had been angry about text messages he alleged had been sent to his new girlfriend.

On Monday Smith, of Freshfields, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court to be sentenced. He pleaded guilty to an offence of theft and another of battery at an earlier hearing.

The court heard how, after Smith’s three-year relationship with Amanda Cronin ended, he turned up at her Newmarket home on December 13 last year because of two text messages he accused her of sending to his girlfriend telling her to commit suicide.

Miss Cronin saw Smith approaching and opened a window to talk to him. Smith tried to grab her phone which she had been using and, after a struggle, she suffered a blow to her face, said Quentin Newcomb, prosecuting.

He said Miss Cronin armed herself with a kitchen knife and opened her door, which Smith kept open with his foot, before pushing her back into the house and running into the street with her phone.

After his arrest Smith denied deliberately punching Miss Cronin, claiming she had injured him during the incident. Smith voluntarily returned the phone to police.

Dominic Lewis, mitigating, said: “It was a heated incident and Mr Smith has now accepted responsibility for the part he played in that incident.”

Judge Peter Fenn made him the subject of a 12-month community order and told him he must complete 120 hours’ unpaid community work and pay £750 court costs.