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South Cumbria man wins appeal against severity of assault sentence

Carlisle Crown Court

[A] SOUTH Cumbria man who admitted a domestic assault has had his sentence downgraded on appeal.

Michael Antony Milner, 49, was handed a year-long community order, comprising 125 hours’ unpaid work, earlier this year.

Furness Magistrates’ Court heard Milner had assaulted his then-girlfriend, Sarah Armstrong, at their Flookburgh home on April 19. It was said he grabbed his victim by the ear and hair, and pushed her against a wall, she having earlier discovered texts on his phone she deemed inappropriate.

Milner, of Field Broughton, admitted an assault charge. However, he disputed the prosecution’s description of the incident, and lodged an appeal against the severity of his punishment.

This was heard – and allowed – at Carlisle Crown Court. Recorder Lawrence McDonald, sitting with two magistrates, was told Milner claimed to have merely grabbed Miss Armstrong by the collar of her tracksuit. He insisted she was shouting at him as children who were present became “distressed”.

After hearing submissions – and that Miss Armstrong was not injured – Recorder McDonald concluded it had been a “relatively minor assault”.

He quashed the community order, replacing it with a 12-month conditional discharge. A restraining order which had been put in place to prevent Milner contacting his ex was removed after the court heard she had moved out of the address.

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