Richmond man poured aftershave on pregnant girlfriend and held lighter to her

Sean Lennon.

A Richmond man poured aftershave on his pregnant girlfriend and held a lighter to her, a court heard today.

Sean Lennon, 26, was sentenced after admitting assaulting his then girlfriend – who was pregnant with his child – in December last year.

York Magistrates Court heard that Lennon, who has a number of previous convictions for violence, attacked his girlfriend after she told him their relationship was over.

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The court heard the row started after Lennon texted his partner to complain the flat was in a mess. She replied “feel free to tidy up”.

Katy Varlow, prosecuting, said the pair exchanged text messages and the row escalated during the day, with his partner eventually saying their relationship was over.

When home the victim packed up Lennon’s belongings and put them in the garden.

He then returned and started banging on the windows and door. She let him into the flat as she was worried he would break the glass.

After smashing up furniture and things at her, he grabbed his partner by the hair and throat as she was sat on the sofa.

He then emptied a full bottle of aftershave on her. Asked by his partner what he was doing, Ms Varlow said the defendant replied that he was “trying to find something to set her on fire with”.

After finding a lighter, he lit it and held the flame to her clothing.

She managed to push him off. The police arrived and arrested him after a scuffle outside.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said she thought he had been going to set fire to her.

She added: “I’m having his baby but would never have started a family with him if I had known he would be so violent and horrible towards me.

“I feel completely helpless and suicidal. I have nightmares and flashbacks about him setting me on fire.

“I wonder if he could do that when I was pregnant then what else could he do.”

Lennon admitted assault, criminal damage and resisting a police constable at an earlier hearing.

Mark Whitfield, mitigating, said his client was “devastated about the harm and upset he had caused his victim”.

He added that Lennon had been a regular cannabis user, but had stopped since being remanded in prison following the offence on December 22.

He said that although he had seven previous convictions, the last had been four years ago.

Mr Whitfield said the builders’ labourer had a permanent job which he would be able to return to if spared a prison sentence.

A pre-sentence report was carried out which found there was high risk Lennon would reoffend and a medium risk of him causing further harm, including to the victim, however it concluded with a recommendation that he be given a non-custodial sentence and instead undertake a Probation Service’s building better relationships programme.

Lennon was sentenced to 20-weeks in prison, suspended for two years.

He was issued with a two-year supervision order and told he would need to complete the building better relationships programme.

He was also ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,000 in compensation to the victim.

A restraining order was issued preventing Lennon from contacting his ex-partner, directly or indirectly.

He was also reminded that he could not interfere with any witnesses who had been due to give evidence at the hearing.