'Ranting' drunk grabbed ex by the throat and punched her in the face

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

James Conroy, of Waterbeach, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court

A drunk man who forced his way into his former partner’s Suffolk home, punched her in the face and grabbed her by the neck has been given a suspended prison sentence.

James Conroy had arranged to meet the woman in March 2019 after they had separated and they went to the Hungry Horse pub in Mildenhall, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

She left the pub after he started “ranting” at her and she got a lift back to her home in Lakenheath with a friend. 

While the woman and her friend were sitting in the car, Conroy approached the vehicle and said he wanted to speak to his former partner inside the house.

He had entered the house and taken off his shoes and, when he left the house to go to his car, the woman locked him out and threw out his footwear.

Conroy returned to the house and banged on the door. He could be heard shouting in the background while she was on the phone to the police.

He got into the house by damaging the front door. He then punched the woman in the face and grabbed her by the neck.

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Police officers who were on the way to the woman’s house after receiving a report that Conroy had broken in and assaulted her saw him drive over the junction of the A1065 and B1112 and crash into a field.

A breath test showed he had 47micrograms of alcohol in 100millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

The court heard that Conroy had also spat at a police officer who tried to arrest him.

Conroy, 38, of Abbey Place, Waterbeach, admitted drink driving, driving while disqualified, threatening behaviour, common assault, assaulting an emergency worker and criminal damage.

He was given a 10-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and a 25-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was fined £500 and ordered to pay £1,238 compensation for damage to the door.

He was also banned from contacting his former partner for two years.

Judge Martyn Levett found special reasons for not imposing a driving ban. 

The court heard that there had been a long delay in the case being dealt with by the court during which time Conroy, who was sole carer for his two children, hadn’t reoffended.