A 31-YEAR-OLD man who repeatedly assaulted a woman by stamping on her in Dursley has been jailed for 27 months.

Gareth Holden admitted to four separate counts of causing actual bodily harm to the woman between March and August 2021.

Prosecutor Alan Williams told Gloucester Crown Court last Thursday (January 18) that Gareth Holden’s 'abominable' offences came to light on July 12, 2022.

Police were called to a property in The Slade, Dursley, by a neighbour who was concerned that a man was beating up a woman. 

Officers found Holden outside the house where he was arrested. He claimed the woman had attacked him and he was only acting in self-defence.
Prior to his arrest, Holden had been demanding money from the woman because he wanted to buy drugs. 

When she refused he lashed out and subjected her to bruising all over her body, said Mr Williams.

Gazette Series: Gareth Holden, of Minchinhampton, has been jailed for 27 months after assaulting his partner four times in Dursley Gareth Holden, of Minchinhampton, has been jailed for 27 months after assaulting his partner four times in Dursley (Image: Gloucestershire Police)

When questioned by the police, the victim said she had numerous photos of the injuries suffered when Holden had previously beaten her up. 

Holden told the police that it was her dog which had caused the injuries to the woman and not him. 

The court was told that for the first 18 months of their relationship had been amicable but he began to change.

He also stopped her from going out and having any contact with her family and he restricted her use of the phone. 

“This was an abusive relationship now in play,” said Mr Williams.

The court heard that on March 16, 2021 Holden stood on the woman’s face, having previously slapped her in her face and head butted her and left the mark of his shoe embedded in her face. The court was shown a photograph of this injury.

Holden warned her not to report this incident to the police and told her to lie to other people about what had happened. 

On May 4, 2021 Holden allegedly bit the woman on the nose and her eye as well as slapping her around her face after he had pinned her up against the wall, Mr Williams said. On that occasion the woman didn’t know why Holden had become angry. 

Two days later on May 6, 2021 Holden was again angry with the woman because she wouldn’t give him any money to buy drugs. He beat her up and burst her lip. In order to pacify him she obtained the money he requested. 

On August 19, 2021 Holden assaulted the woman so badly that she had to go to Dursley Hospital for a broken eye socket. The cut under her eye wouldn’t stop bleeding. 

The woman was told she needed specialist treatment and should go to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital but Holden didn’t let her go. He said that he didn’t want her to answer the questions that the medical staff were likely to ask. 

A statement made by the victim demonstrated that she was defenceless and was repeatedly being beaten up, Mr Williams said. 

She said that Holden’s behaviour had a lasting effect on her as she suffers with nightmares and is now scared of forming relationships with men. 

She also stated she has medical issues including kidney damage, eye problems and now has to have hearing aids. 

Catherine Spedding, defending, said it was not a prolonged campaign of violence. But it was agreed that there were four instances, Ms Spedding said. 

“Holden has written to the court showing genuine remorse and an understanding of the hurt he has caused his victim,” Ms Spedding said. 

"Holden puts his offending into the context that he hasn’t been involved in any sort of domestic violence since he has been in a new relationship.

"His actions at the time of his offending were due to his alcohol and drug addictions. 

“Since his arrest he has sought help from Narcotics Anonymous and sought professional help for his anxiety and depression. 

"He has employment lined up if he keeps his liberty today. I believe there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation due to the steps he has already taken."

"You took the cowardly course of action" says judge 

Judge Rupert Lowe reminded Holden, of Old Common, Minchinhampton, that his violence comes about due to his long association with a control drug and alcohol 

He said: “You treated the woman with the most abominable series of violent actions. You pleaded guilty to these offences on the day of your trial.
“When the police arrived at your home address, you began blaming other people for your actions. You took the cowardly course of action stating that the woman had attacked you and that you were only defending yourself. 

“This was domestic violence against a vulnerable woman. You threatened her not to tell anybody about his actions to save your own skin. 

“There has been a delay in this case coming to court. This is partially due to you hanging on until the day of trial to plead guilty. 

“I have carefully read all the testimonials submitted on your behalf, which shows the efforts you’ve made in turning your life around but the sentence I impose is an immediate 27 month immediate custody, which it is not possible to suspend.”

The judge subjected Holden to a 10-year restraining order not to contact his victim by any means except through lawyers.