Woman bit partner during attack in Middleham, court hears

York Crown Court.

A woman sank her teeth into her partner’s back “like an animal trying to kill its prey” during an attack at the victim’s home in Middleham, a court heard.

Kirsty Jameson, 32, dragged the woman off a chair by her hair, punched her and shook her head violently from side to side for about half a minute, York Crown Court was told on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Eddison Flint said the victim had a clump of hair ripped out during the attack in the early hours of March 28 and was left with bald patches.

Jameson and the victim, who both worked in the horseracing industry, had been in a toxic relationship during which Jameson controlled her partner’s day-to-day activities and checked up on her phone, said Mr Flint.

Just after 3am on March 28, Jameson rang the victim who was asleep. She woke to find that Jameson was outside her house. She let her in even though Jameson was “clearly” under the influence of drink.

“The defendant came in and assaulted her,” said Mr Flint.

“Jameson put her hands on top of her head and dragged her off a chair by her hair onto the floor, with the victim’s knees scraping along the floor. The defendant knelt down in front of her and punched her once to the forehead.”

She then grabbed the victim’s hair and shook her head “from side to side for about half a minute”.

Jameson then put her entire body weight on the victim, “sunk her teeth into her” and shook her head again while doing so.

“The victim describes this as like an animal trying to kill its prey,” said Mr Flint.

“Jameson said she would stop if the victim would give her her phone.”

The victim managed to stand up and pick up a bottle of water, but “the room was spinning” and she fell over, barely conscious, cutting her mouth on the bottle as she tumbled.

Jameson allegedly remained at the house for about two-and-a-half hours, during which time the victim was “unable to move through fear”.

She finally managed to get out of the house and took her pet dogs with her. Her injuries, namely bumps and bruises, became progressively worse over time. There was bruising around her eyes and nose and a red lump in the middle of her forehead, as well as a significant bite mark to her back.

The victim said she was bleeding from her nose and mouth following the attack.

“The bleeding continued for about five months,” she added.

She was referred to a specialist for the bleeding and her hair was only just starting to grow back, four months on from the attack. She also had “floaters” in her vision due to the protective gel-like substance around her eyes being damaged when Jameson shook her head from side to side.

She had since sold her house and moved several miles away and was “still anxious about visiting the village” which she still had to do for racehorse gallops.

She had suffered nightmares and sought help from a counsellor through Racing Welfare who told her she had post-traumatic stress disorder.

She described Jameson as a “controlling and jealous” woman who had caused her to “withdraw socially”.

Mr Flint said that during the short-lived relationship Jameson was “constantly (wanting) to look through (the victim’s) phone to read all her messages and look at her call logs”.

The victim, who has since parted ways with her attacker, said the relationship was one of “high intensity” during which Jameson was with her wherever she went. She was always “treading on eggshells” and ended up losing contact with her family.

Jameson, who has since moved to the Scottish Borders, appeared for sentence today after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The court heard that since the attack, there had been an incident at Kelso Races when both the victim and Jameson were there in a professional capacity. The victim asked security for protection but although police were called, the matter was resolved and there was no arrest.

Jameson had a previous conviction for assault in a domestic setting following an incident in Dumfriesshire in 2010.

Her solicitor advocate Michele Turner said Jameson was a hard-working woman and a carer for her grandmother.

Judge Simon Hickey condemned Jameson for “sinking your teeth into (the victim)” who had been caused “great” psychological and physical harm.

However, he said he had to weigh this with substantial mitigation, namely Jameson’s caring responsibilities and her reputation as a hard-working woman in the racing industry.

Jameson, of Longcroft Road, Hawick, was given a 12-month jail sentence but this was suspended for 18 months.

Mr Hickey said it was a close call and instead of prison, Jameson would have to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and complete a 30-day rehabilitation programme to deal with her drinking.

She was ordered to pay £425 costs and slapped with a ten-year restraining order banning her from contacting the victim and making any reference to her on social media.