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Malton builder sentenced for attack

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The former lover of a married mum-of-two has been jailed for attacking her.

Local builder Christopher John Brown, 45, was sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment when he appeared before York Crown Court on Wednesday last week.

A jury had found him guilty of inflicting actual bodily harm on Yvonne Watkins at an earlier hearing.

The court heard from Mrs Watkins how their affair had lasted five years from when Brown had been employed by her and her husband to build a wall at their home in Welham Road, Norton.

Mrs Watkins said that she would regularly visit Brown’s house in Middlecave Road, Malton, to carry on their 
affair, but after being attacked on the night of November 
23/24 had been left with a perforated eardrum, cuts and bruises.

She told how she was dragged by her hair and clothing through the house, punched several times, twice pushed to the ground, had her faced pushed into the ground and had to try and crawl away on her hands and knees from the onslaught.

Mrs Watkins said she eventually managed to run away and hide, first in bushes and then under a parked car.

Brown had denied the charge but, on January 28, at the end of a two-day trial, he was found unanimously guilty by a jury of seven women and five men.

The court heard how Mrs Watkins and her friend, Lindsay Ainley, went on a night out on November 23 and decided to go to Brown’s home to sleep off the drink, texting him to tell him of their intentions and then using a spare key to let her and her friend in.

When Brown returned in the early hours from drinking in The Old Lodge Hotel, Malton, he found his lover asleep on a 
sofa and her friend in a spare bed.

Brown told the jury that he accepted kissing Ms Ainley to wake her up, telling her he had done it because she had previously been seen kissing Mrs Watkins.

Brown, who told the court that he had asked Mrs Watkins not to go to the house with her friend, because he believed his property was being used by her for “lesbian activities”, said he then woke his lover and asked her to leave.

When she argued he grabbed her clothing and marched her to the door, also admitting that he had hit her with the flat of his hand around the ear, “like you might do with a kid” and then, when she had fallen to the floor because she was drunk, gave her a kick with the side of his boot to her backside.

However, Brown denied that he had caused any of the injuries later found by hospital doctors, claiming instead that she must have injured herself falling to the ground because she had been unable to walk unaided.

Brown warned the pair that if Mrs Watkins went to the police he would tell her husband everything about their affair.

Brown told the jury that if Mrs Watkins was going to cause trouble for him, he was “going 
to bring her playtime to an 
end.”

Trisha Doherty, mitigating on Wednesday, said that her client, who has two previous convictions for sexual assault on his record, would lose his home and business if he was jailed.

She added that other people who relied on the business 
for their livelihood would also be put out of work as a 
result.

Passing sentence, Recorder Michelle Heeley told Brown that the assault had been sustained and could be classed as domestic violence because of the length of the affair and it happening in the house where it was conducted.

Adding that it was obvious that the incident has had a profound ongoing effect on Mrs Watkins, the recorder told Brown: “You simply cannot go around treating women in this manner.”

 

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