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Dereham man held knife to baby's head

PUBLISHED: 16:40 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 14:56 07 July 2010

Kathryn Cross

A 20-year-old man held a knife to his six-week-old baby's head during a violent domestic argument with his girlfriend, a court heard today.

Daniel Howes, of Meadow View, Hockering, near Dereham, also tied new mother Kerry Frear's hands and feet together with the cord from her dressing gown and threatened to stab her with the knife during the argument which raged for two days last October.

A 20-year-old man held a knife to his six-week-old baby's head during a violent domestic argument with his girlfriend, a court heard today.

Daniel Howes, of Meadow View, Hockering, near Dereham, also tied new mother Kerry Frear's hands and feet together with the cord from her dressing gown and threatened to stab her with the knife during the argument which raged for two days last October.

Howes, who admitted three offences of common assault and one of affray at Norwich Crown Court, had a sentence of four months in a young offenders institution suspended for two years due to his previous good character.

The court heard Howes was at Miss Frear's home in Shipdham, near Dereham, on October 4 when he “snapped”, pinning his girlfriend to the bed and asking if she was scared.

Lori Tucker, prosecuting, said he then tied her hands and feet with the cord until she complained they were going purple and then pushed her to the floor and put his hands around her throat, asking “Do you think I am a psychopath or gone mad?”

When their baby girl woke up he told Miss Frear to “shut her up”. He refused to leave and then grabbed a screaming Miss Frear by the throat and threw her to the floor before putting her dressing gown over her face.

The following day he threatened to stab Miss Frear with a knife and then put it to the baby's head. He left saying he needed a larger knife and while he was gone Miss Frear managed to contact a friend.

Later Howes apologised and claimed he had snapped and was on the verge of being suicidal.

Defending him Jonathan Goodman said Howes was “full of remorse”. He produced references which praised Howes as a “well-adjusted and a gifted young man”. Mr Goodman said Howes had become depressed and stressed but he was now living with his family, and there was no likelihood of him reoffending. He and Miss Frear have since split up.

Judge Paul Downes, told Howes: “I don't understand why you behaved in such an extraordinary way. Whether it was the stress of being a father we will never know. Fortunately you did not do any lasting damage but what you did must have caused enormous fear.”

Howes was given a supervision order for two years under which he must attend a domestic abuse programme for up to 60 days.

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