Man sentenced for hitting former girlfriend

Row erupted in front of children

A MAN who assaulted his former girlfriend in front of their two children has been sentenced to an 18 month community order.

Richard Edmund Pycroft, 31, of Brentwood Road, Romford pleaded guilty to common assault after slapping his former partner Karen Saunders, causing her bruising to her face.

He also pushed her over, causing her pain because of a historic back injury.

Prosecuting counsel, Elizabeth Ajayi told Havering Magistrates Court in Main Road, Romford today (October 18) that an argument had erupted while Pycroft was visiting his two children at the house of his former partner Karen Saunders, in Hoghill Road, Collier Row, on August 10.

His son wanted him to play football but Pycroft refused, saying he was too tired.

“She said I’ve been looking after the children all day, the least you can do is play with them for a while,” Miss Ajayi said, adding that Miss Saunders took up Pycroft’s bag as if to throw him out of her house.

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“The defendant became angry. He said don’t touch my stuff. He took the children into another room. The defendant claimed he slapped her. She was hysterical and the children were crying as well.”

On arrest he admitted to police that he had hit Miss Saunders, saying “She knows all the right buttons to press to get a reaction”.

Defending Arlegh Davis said Pycroft, who works seven days a week as a carpet fitter, was a cocaine user who had anger management issues.

“Mr Pycroft has been quite honest about his actions on that day. He doesn’t like the situation and he does want to stop taking drugs. Since his arrest he hasn’t taken any drugs.

“Were he to get a custodial sentence today it wouldn’t really help Miss Saunders as he’d lose his job and he wouldn’t be able to provide.”

Pycroft must also attend a drug programme for six months and pay �80 court costs within seven days.