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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Nick Tyrrell

'Amazing dad' battered partner as kids slept

A man who battered his girlfriend in a vile attack at her flat walked free today.

Ben Shepherd attacked the mum of his child in a home on Warrington’s Grasmere Avenue earlier this year. Yet the 26-year-old was handed a suspended sentence today in a rare move after the woman said he was an “amazing” dad to his kids and a judge said he had showed true remorse for the attack.

Derek Jones, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court a neighbour saw the woman with a bleeding nose and in tears after she was beaten by Shepherd inside her flat on April 9, 2022.

READ MORE: Mum who ran kids' play centre and restaurant admits EncroChat drugs conspiracy

He said police interviewed her and found she had been punched numerous times by Shepherd after he came home having been drinking and taking drugs Mr Jones said: “He had come home a bit drunk and fallen asleep. She tried to wake him and then he ‘kicked off’. She told police ‘it happened so fast’.”

There were children in the home when the attack took place but Mr Jones said they were asleep in another room at the time.

The court heard Shepherd hit the woman numerous times and threw her against a wall while beating her on the stairs. Mr Jones said attempts had been made to get further statements from the woman but she declined on a number of occasions.

Damian Zelazowski, defending, said the woman had told police the relationship had been a volatile one, with both her and Shepherd sometimes acting violently towards one another - and that she had also hit him during the incident. Their relationship was now over but she said she did not want a restraining order imposed to ensure that Shepherd could see his child.

Mr Zelazowski said: “She describes him as an 'amazing dad to our son'. Clearly she thinks he is a better father than he is a partner.” He also appealed to the Judge Louise Brandon to take into consideration Shepherd’s interviews with probation officers, during which he accepted responsibility for the attack and said he needed to undertake work to address his behaviour.

Judge Brandon said Shepherd had caused his partner “real distress” but said probation officers had made clear they felt he could be rehabilitated. She said: “This is a case where work can be done with you to reduce your risk to the public.”

Shepherd, of Cartmel Crescent, Chadderton, was handed a 12 month jail term suspended for 18 months. He will also have to complete rehabilitation days and unpaid work as part of his sentence.


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