Beds, Herts & Bucks

Aylesbury hammer attacker Darren Stenhouse jailed

A man who attacked his former partner with a hammer and kept her imprisoned at her Aylesbury home, has been jailed for eight and a half years.

Darren Stenhouse, 38, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty in May to the grievous bodily harm and false imprisonment of Claire Harrison, 30.

The attack took place at her Belgrave Road home on 5 March after she ended their four-year "abusive" relationship.

Stenhouse was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Friday.

Judge John Reddihough imposed a jail sentence of eight years and six months, plus a three and a half-year extended licence period, for the attack.

Stenhouse will also serve a four-year jail sentence for false imprisonment, which will run concurrently.

'Sustained attack'

The defendant was also ordered to pay £900 compensation.

The court heard he was on a pre-arranged visit to pick up his belongings from Ms Harrison when he attacked Ms Harrison, who sustained head injuries and slight paralysis to her leg from being hit on the back.

Passing sentence, the judge called it "a sustained attack" on the victim who had been "understandably absolutely terrified".

"This was a terrible offence giving rise to terrible fear," he said.

Following the sentencing, Ms Harrison said she was "relieved" her "four-year ordeal with an abusive partner" had come to an end.

"I urge anyone out there suffering [from domestic violence] to get yourself and any children you may have to safety and speak up and put the perpetrator where they belong," she said.

Stenhouse was originally charged with attempted murder and assault by beating, but pleaded not guilty and admitted the lesser charges.

The judge ordered the original charges to lie on file.

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