HERE is a round up of cases heard at Worcester Crown Court this week.

Timothy Bird

Timothy Bird of Ransome Avenue, Worcester, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on what would have been the first day of his trial at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday.

The assaults upon his former partner, Emma Winter, happened on January 11 last year and again on February 2 last year.

The offences also placed him in breach of a suspended sentence (seven months in prison suspended for two years), imposed on June 8, 2018 for the production of cannabis.

John Brotherton, prosecuting, said the Crown said the second, more serious assault was a category one offence (greater harm), the most serious within the guidelines, 'the reason being the sustained or repeated nature of the assault on the same victim'.

Mr Brotherton also said it was high culpability, involving 'deliberately causing more harm than is necessary'.

He told the judge the starting point for sentence within the guidelines was a year and six months in prison with a range available of one to three years in custody.

Describing the assault on January 11 last year, Mr Brotherton said it was 'not as sustained' as the other assault.

"It's pinning her to the bed with his hands around her throat. It's rather different in nature," he said.

Mr Brotherton said this attack left marks under the chin and around the neck of the victim.

The prosecution is expected to ask two further counts to lie on the court file on the next occasion.

Judge Martin Jackson adjourned the case until November 27 for sentence, ordering a pre-sentence report to be prepared by the probation service.

He renewed Bird's bail on the same conditions as before - not to contact Emma Winter directly or indirectly and not to enter Droitwich as defined by the 30mph speed limit signs.

The judge said 'all options' would be open to the sentencing judge on the next occasion.

Zoe Hayes

Debt-ridden and shunned, Zoe Hayes sobbed in the dock as she was given a suspended jail sentence at Worcester Crown Court on Friday.

The 47-year-old of Diglis Dock Road, Diglis, Worcester, took out two credit cards in her daughter’s name and went on shopping sprees, maxing them out after doing exactly the same thing to her own mother 10 years ago.

The defendant’s daughter, Sophie Hemmingway, said she would ‘never forgive’ her mother for what she had done and does not want her in her life, believing she will do the same thing again given the chance.

Mrs Hemmingway, 23, of Worcester, watched her mother spared jail from the public gallery.

“She has torn the family apart. None of the family are speaking to her,” said Mrs Hemmingway after the court hearing.

Mrs Hemmingway, who married last July, said: “She isn’t going to be part of my life and that’s it. I don’t feel anything towards her. I look at her as if she’s a stranger. She will continue to do this. I hope she never does it to my sisters. I would rather she had gone to prison.”

Amiee Parkes, prosecuting, said the defendant had been staying with her daughter in Manchester on December 21 and 22 last year and she planned to go shopping at the Trafford Centre with her sisters.

Miss Parkes said this ‘did not sit right’ with Mrs Hemmingway as she knew her mum did not have the money and had struggled with debt for a long time.

Checking her mother’s purse she found two credit cards in one of the pockets taken out in Mrs Hemmingway’s maiden name. She confronted her mother who was described as ‘placid about the situation’, telling her daughter ‘she would sort it out and didn’t want to talk about it’.

Mrs Hemmingway assumed her mother would pay them off but the cards continued to be used after she said she had cut them up.

“She said she was sorry for taking the cards out and knew she shouldn’t have done it but was in a bad mental state and that’s why she had done it,” said Miss Parkes.

The defendant was arrested on May 17 at her home address and a search was conducted and both cards were found in her purse. The bill on one was £1,574 (Capital One card) and £1,277 on the other (Aqua Card) although the defendant had paid off £206 on that card.

The bank has met the cost so there is no loss to Mrs Hemmingway. The defendant made full and frank admissions in interview.

Judge Tindal said that although Mrs Hemmingway had not suffered financial harm she had suffered damage to her credit rating ‘and, perhaps much more importantly, the damage to her trust’.

“It’s clear, as was the case with your offences against your mother, when you get yourself in financial difficulty you tend to think only of yourself and not of those around you” said the judge.

Judge Tindal told her as she cried in court: “You’re upset. Frankly I hope you’re upset through a sense of shame rather than through a sense of self pity.”

The judge sentenced her to nine months in prison suspended for two years and ordered her to complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Cordelia Farrell

Cordelia Farrell put her hands over her face when she was handed a ten year jail sentence for the manslaughter of Wayne Coventry at Worcester Crown Court on Thursday. The jury had cleared her of murder the day before but rejected her account that she acted in self-defence when she plunged the largest kitchen knife taken from the block through his chest, sinking it to a depth of 9cm and piercing his aorta.

The 38-year-old was told by Judge James Burbidge QC she could expect to serve at least two thirds of the sentence in prison after she stabbed her partner, father-of-three Wayne Coventry, in the chest with a kitchen knife at his brother’s Bromsgrove home.

She was described as both abuser and abused in what the judge called a toxic relationship. She herself had told police one of them would end up dead before she killed the 36-year-old

Judge James Burbidge QC said: "People close to you and him soon realised that it was a toxic relationship that was likely to end in some sort of catastrophe and that is exactly what it did.

"People who were concerned on both sides for both your well being knew it was a turbulent relationship and sought to keep you apart. For yours as a relationship undoubtedly fuelled by alcohol and drugs was violent and abusive."

The judge added: "You picked up the largest knife from the knife block. As the jury found you were not acting in defence of yourself. You then wielded that knife not intending to cause him serious bodily injury let alone to kill him but in a such a dangerous manner that harm even significant harm at such close quarters was likely to befall him. As indeed it did."

The stabbing happened in Humphrey Avenue on October 14 last year when she plunged the knife through his chest, sinking it to a depth of 9cm. She told a jury that Coventry, with whom she had a volatile relationship, had first placed a smaller knife to her back before she turned and stabbed him but her account that she acted in self-defence was rejected by the jury.

The stabbing followed an earlier attack by Farrell on the victim on September 11 last year during which she was said to have dragged him about by his testicles which she held in a 'vice-like grip'. She also bit his testicles and penis and stabbed him in the back with a piece of broken crockery.

The judge imposed an 18 month concurrent sentence for the earlier assault.