Tiverton rugby player facing prison for beating woman
A TIVERTON Rugby Club player has been told he faces jail for a brutal attack on his girlfriend.
Benjamin Blake, 20, from Sycamore Road, Tiverton, admitted hitting and kicking his 40-year-old partner, Exeter Crown Court heard.
The six-foot prop pleaded guilty to a number of charges at the hearing on Friday, only days after lining up in a head-to-head match between police officers and firefighters at the club to raise funds for Stop Abuse for Everyone – a charity dedicated to fighting domestic violence.
Blake, who only signed for Tiverton last month, was accused of trying to strangle his partner and it is claimed he caused her so much pain during the assault that she blacked out.
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He has been remanded in custody pending a hearing at which lawyers will decide exactly what he did.
Recorder Brian Lett QC told Blake that even those parts of the assault which he admitted were so serious that an immediate jail sentence was inevitable.
He said there was also a danger that pressure may be put on the victim, who is now due to give evidence at a special hearing later this month.
He said: "On the facts admitted a custodial sentence is demanded."
David Bowen, prosecuting, said all the allegations arose from the same incident, which included a prolonged and sustained assault.
He said: "There is a list of injuries and there were 17 different elements of the assault including biting of the cheek and two instances of strangulation.
"The most serious is an allegation, which he denies, is of pulling her legs apart and kicking her between the legs.
"We say the cumulative effect is to increase the gravity of the offence."
Warren Robinson, defending, said Blake disputes aiming a deliberate kick to the groin and trying to strangle his partner, but accepts his assault caused her to lose consciousness.
Blake has admitted causing actual harm, common assault and criminal damage.
Blake was a late addition to the line-up for the charity match held on Monday, October 8. Two previous events have helped raise more than £2,000 to support local victims of domestic abuse.
Tiverton Rugby Club does its bit to stamp out domestic abuse – Page 16.