AN ILLOGAN father who held a knife against his partner’s throat and punched her has escaped jail despite having two previous convictions for domestic violence.
Matthew Maw, 30, of Coronation Road, was handed a stand-alone suspended sentence with no requirements at Truro Crown Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to affray, which was witnessed by four young children.
Maw had been in a relationship with Joanne Crocker for 15 months when on April 3 last year, they became involved in an argument at her home in front of her three children and his son.
Bathsheba Cassel, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Maw started using abusive language and then took a kitchen knife and held it against Ms Crocker’s neck.
Ms Cassel said: “Terrified Ms Crocker tried to push the defendant away … the defendant took hold of her and pushed her hard against the kitchen wall.”
He held the knife against her throat again before putting the weapon down and punching her in the face, causing her to fall to the floor.
Ms Cassel said Maw had a number of previous convictions dating back to 1998, including three for battery on two other partners.
Robin Smith, defending, said Maw had recently had to look after his young daughter because her mother had disappeared.
He said she suffered from a number of medical conditions.
Court liaison probation officer Mary Lewis told the court that a previous order for Maw to carry out a domestic violence programme had not had any effect.
She said: “Not only does he put all partners at risk; he has used a weapon and had committed offences in front of children.”
But she added a social worker had told her that on his own Maw was a good parent.
Sentencing, Judge John Neligan told Maw his daughter had saved him from going to prison.
He said: “To send you to prison would, in my view, upset and destabilise her … anything that upsets children can have a profound effect on them.”
Maw was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge.
He was also made subject to a five-year restraining order not to contact Ms Crocker.