Former EDL member Peter Finch jailed for stamping on ex and for text rant over Muslim lover
A DRUNK dad beat and stamped on his ex-partner ‘like an animal’ and sent threatening, Islamophobic messages after she took a Muslim lover.
Peter Finch was jailed for 12 months at Worcester Crown Court after he beat his ex in a drunken rage which left her with a suspected broken rib.
He denied assault occasioning actual bodily harm against girlfriend Rebecca Harding at her home in Worcester but was found guilty at trial.
The 31-year-old, who said he was a former member of the English Defence League, previously admitted criminal damage to a door and malicious communication which was deemed racially or religiously aggravated between July and October last year.
Finch of Patterdale Drive, Warndon, Worcester, carried out the assault in May last year after Miss Harding, his partner of five years, returned home from work at about 6pm.
Mark Phillips, prosecuting, said: “The relationship was characterised by this defendant becoming aggressive when in drink.
“It was clear he had been out at the pub during the afternoon and was suffering from the effects of drinking too much.
“He accused her of having an affair when she told him she had other plans for the evening other than going out with him.”
The attack happened in a bedroom where she had gone to get changed.
“She described the defendant flying in and punching her in the face.
“The blow with his right hand struck her right cheek. She saw it instantly swelling up. He pushed her to the floor where he held her by the throat.
“She told him she was unable to breathe but still he would not let her go.”
He was described as kneeling on her while he punched her repeatedly in the body.
Mr Phillips said: “Whilst doing so he said ‘this is what I would have done to him’, presumably referring to the man he believed she was having the affair with.
“He stood up. She was curled up in a defensive position, into a ball. She was on her side, exposing her right flank. He then stamped on her ribs.
“She cried out in pain. It was only at that point the defendant seemed to have any sort of remorse about what he had done, saying he was sorry.
“She describes him as behaving like an animal. She had never seen him like that before.”
Miss Harding suffered bruising and a suspected broken rib during the attack. She went to see her doctor and had her medication for depression ‘doubled’, Mr Phillips said.
When Finch learned Miss Harding had travelled to Marrakech and had a new Moroccan boyfriend he sent her a number of abusive texts and WhatsApp messages.
Mr Phillips said: “There was reference to enjoying her time in a burka, clear reference to her being with a Muslim man.
“He refers to himself hating Muslims with a passion and said ‘you were happy to marry a man who hates Muslims with a passion and would wipe them off the planet’. He says he hopes she gets killed.”
In interview he told police: “I was part of the English Defence League.”
Finch represented himself because he was not eligible for legal aid and could not afford to pay anyone to represent him.
He said his ex had sent him messages about sexual activity between her and her new partner. He said: “It was more than disheartening – it was soul-breaking when she sent that to me.”
He added: “I have not been part of the English Defence League for three years. Now my views are completely changed.”
Judge Nicholas Cole said the assault was aggravated because it took place in front of a child. Although the physical injuries were limited to bruising and a suspected broken rib, the emotional impact had been ‘severe’.
He said of the threatening messages that he was satisfied that they were partly motivated by hostility towards Muslims.
He sentenced him to 12 months in custody for the ABH, four weeks for the criminal damage and three months for the malicious communicated with an extra month added because it was religiously/racially aggravated (four months in total). These sentences will be served concurrently to the 12 months, making a total sentence of 12 months.
No separate penalty was imposed for breach of a conditional discharge.