A ‘possessive’ mechanic launched a bloody attack on his lover as her two children screamed in fear because he thought she was cheating on him, a court heard today.
Lee Birks, 27, was jailed for 18 months for launching the frenzied assault on Natalie Ranson as she tried to keep him away from her children who were just feet away in the bath.
He had head-butted her twice in the face before pummeling her with his fists when they argued about her ex-lover and a man she was in contact with on Facebook. The beating left her needing surgery to repair her nose. Hew put her head in the oven and threatened to burn her alive under the grill.
During the attack at her home in Werrington, Staffordshire, on May 17 this year, Birks initially threw Miss Ranson’s laptop against a wall and stamped on it before hurling a glass against the kitchen wall.
He then punched a television in the bedroom before head-butting helpless Miss Ranson twice in the face and thumping her in the right eye causing her to lose consciousness.
The attack, which left Miss Ranson with horrific facial injuries, happened just feet away from her children, aged four and 18 months.
Jailing Birks, Judge Paul Glenn told him: ‘You had been in a relationship from 2008.
‘She described you as jealous and possessive during that relationship.
Jealous: Despite being left bloodied Natalie Ranson, pictured right, was most concerned for her children who were in the bath when Lee Birks, left, flew into a rage
‘On May 17 you argued, it was about one of her ex-partners and Facebook contact she allegedly had with someone you knew.
‘You had drunk alcohol and became increasingly angry and ignored a request to leave.
‘This young lady was a vulnerable victim, a single mother. Her injuries were unpleasant. It was a repeated assault.
‘When you head-butt people, that equates to using a weapon. The aggravating features are a conviction for a previous assault on the same victim and the presence of two young children.’
After battering his lover, Birks fled the house before being arrested later that day when she came round and dialled 999.
Speaking after the case, Miss Ranson, who had to undergo surgery on her nose, described a sense of relief after her ‘terrifying ordeal’ came to an end.
The full-time mum said: ‘Lee started going off on one. I just asked him to leave. I could see the anger in his eyes.
Guilty: Lee Birks, pictured outside Hanley Crown Court, Stoke-On-Trent, smashed up his lovers home before head-butting her and punching her in the face
‘I was checking on the children who were in the bath. I heard a loud noise. My laptop had been slung on one side of the room.
‘Lee was in a rage. I went up to the children. I came downstairs. Lee threw the glass at the kitchen wall.
‘I was just asking him to leave. He then went upstairs, the children were still in the bath. I went upstairs because I did not want him anywhere near my children.
‘Lee was in my bedroom. I told him to get out the house. He swung around and punched my television. It was in pieces.
‘He came towards me and head-butted me. I think I lost consciousness. He head-butted me twice. My nose was pouring with blood.
‘I was in a complete and utter daze. I did not know what had gone on. He then punched me to my right eye and cut me open where my eyebrow is.
‘My children were screaming. I just wanted to make sure they were OK. He left. I went downstairs. I knocked on next door and asked for help. I had blood everywhere.’
Birks, from Meir Park, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., was jailed for 18 months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court after he was convicted of assault on December 5.
He was also banned from contacting Miss Ranson for three years.
Miss Ranson added: ‘I have got my closure now. He put me through absolute hell that night.
‘My kids were in the bath and all I could think about was getting to them and making sure they were okay.
‘I am still suffering because I need surgery on my nose to replace the cartilage that was damaged. I am getting on with my life now.’