A man who terrorised his partner and their three children at knifepoint has been jailed for 18 months.
Scott Higgins, 32, had forced Andrea Kenny to flee for her life after he threatened to stab her with a kitchen knife before mounting a violent assault on the home she had been temporarily sharing with her mother, the court heard.
During the attack in Wigan, Greater Manchester, Higgins smashed windows at the property before climbing in and kicking a bedroom door off its hinges as Kenny and her young children hid inside.
The attack only stopped after she managed to run past him and hide in a neighbouring garden. No one was injured.
At Bolton crown court, a report claimed Higgins posed a high risk of future domestic violence but Kenny said she planned to rekindle their relationship and move with him and the children to Scotland, and claimed he was not a danger to the family.
In response the judge, Mr Recorder Andrew Nuttall, told Higgins last Wednesday: “A person is judged by their actions not by what they say and your actions were very clear that day. You constituted a very real risk to Andrea and those three young children.
“It is quite possible your three young children will remember those events for a very, very long time – if not for ever. Who knows how much you have scarred them because of your behaviour.”
He added: “You would not leave Miss Kenny alone. She went to her mother’s address where she was with her children who are very young. You banged the window whilst under the influence of drink and drugs, you were violent and bullying in your behaviour, frightening in your behaviour and had with you a knife and tapped on the window saying: ‘I’m going to stab you.’
“Andrea and the children were cowering in the room upstairs. It is clear she was extremely frightened, as well she might be. The next day you effectively assaulted the home she was staying in.
“You broke the window and took the upstairs bedroom door off its hinges and once again Andrea and the children were cowering but she managed to make good their escape.
He described Higgins’ actions as “extremely frightening” and said a report found he had little empathy for the victims, little or no regret and no remorse. The judge added that the report’s author concluded he posed a high risk of further domestic violence.
“Andrea says she does not feel at risk from you nor does she believe the children are at risk – I’m afraid I do not agree. The blame does not lie in alcohol or drugs – the blame lays quite squarely on your shoulders and you have to accept that.”
The court heard that Higgins, a sandwich shop worker, had been in a relationship with Kenny for eight years but they split up in February last year. Two days after the split he turned up at Kenny’s mother’s home with a knife, used it to tap on the window and make threats, then left abusive messages on Kenny’s phone saying: “I will call you one last time – if you don’t answer next time, I’ll be there.” Higgins was later arrested.
Higgins admitted having a bladed article, using violence to secure entry to a premises, harassment and criminal damage. He had 10 offences on his record dating back to 2005 including criminal damage, threatening behaviour and football-related hooliganism.
In a statement Kenny’s mother, Cathy Kenny, said: ‘‘Before this event I would regard myself as a confident, outgoing person – now I feel afraid and upset and am scared Scott Higgins will come to my home again.
Higgins’ lawyer, Colin Buckle, said in mitigation: ‘‘This is not the way he usually behaves. This was a two-day alcohol binge in reaction to the separation from his partner. His intention is to go and live with the complainant and their children. She wants that too.’’