Cocaine yob dragged sleeping mum out of bed then broke her face

A coked-up yob dragged his sleeping girlfriend out of bed before breaking her face with more than 20 punches.

Liam Connolly smashed his way into Sophie Leicester's home after an all night cocaine and alcohol bender.

The mum of his two-year-old daughter woke to find Connolly pulling her by the hair, then raining down blows.

Having broken her maxilla – the bone in the upper jaw below the nose – the 21-year-old fled before police arrived.

Zilch - No Credit Check Finance

Michael Stephenson, prosecuting, said: "It's hard to imagine someone in a more vulnerable position than asleep in their underwear in their own bedroom in a locked house."

Liverpool Crown Court heard the couple went to a party on the evening of Saturday, June 1 last year, but argued and left.

Receive newsletters with the latest news, sport and what's on updates from the Liverpool ECHO by signing up here.

Mr Stephenson said the "plan" was to go to Connolly's mum's address, but the victim instead went back to her home in Newton le Willows alone.

wirral airport transfers mersesysideairportservice.co.uk

He said Miss Leicester then received a text from Connolly asking who she was with and she "effectively told him to get lost".

Mr Stephenson said: "Perhaps as a result of that, and after a night, which he accepts in the pre-sentence report, he clearly with friends indulged in cocaine and alcohol, he arrived at her address at 7.30 in the morning."

He said Connolly's friends remained outside, but he picked up a stone and smashed a front window to get into her living room.

Mr Stephenson said: "From there he went up to her bedroom. She was asleep in her underwear and the first she knew of the incident, or of his arrival, was when she was dragged from her bed by her hair.

"She describes receiving repeated punches to the face and she places a rough estimate on this of about 20. She said that after a while her face became numb and it ceased to hurt. But he wasn't finished."

Connolly dragged her downstairs and delivered more punches until someone shouted to warn him that a neighbour had called the police.

He told Miss Leicester not to give his name to police before he fled and she went to hospital for treatment.

She suffered bruising and swelling to her face, left ear and left wrist, a nose bleed, and carpet burns to both knees.

Mr Stephenson said the most serious injury – "a maxillary wall fracture" – was then identified on an X-ray.

Video Loading Click to play Tap to play The video will start in8Cancel Play now

However, he said this was treated "conservatively" and doctors decided against an operation.

Miss Leicester's mum, Kim Leicester, provided a victim impact statement.

Mr Stephenson said: "She describes how distressed she had become when she saw her happy, bubbly daughter become more and more subdued whilst associating with this man.

"She considers that her condition is improving now that she is free of him. But a consequence is they have had to live in houses with locked doors and CCTV systems and she poses the question would he want their daughter to have to experience what Sophie went through?"

Connolly, of Lapwing Close, Newton le Willows, was originally charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.

However, he indicated at the first opportunity he would admit the lesser offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm, which was accepted by prosecutors, and also pleaded guilty to criminal damage.

He was also convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm at the age of 14, when he received a Youth Referral Order in 2014.

Mr Stephenson said he was locked up in November that same year for threatening behaviour in a "homophobic" incident.

He was handed another Youth Referral Order for assault causing actual bodily harm in 2015 and locked up for affray in 2016.

Connolly received 16 weeks in jail, suspended for 18 months, in January 2018 for battery, after headbutting a man in the street. He admitted breaching that order in its final month by attacking Miss Leicester.

To keep up to date with crime in your local area use your postcode below

Last December he was handed another suspended sentence for two counts of battery, after spitting at Asda staff who refused to serve him alcohol.

Phil Barnes, defending, said the fact his client had a daughter with the victim played a "significant part" in his early guilty plea, because he "wanted to do the right thing".

He said this showed a change in maturity for a man who struggled with education, offended as a youth and had problems with drink, drugs, anxiety and depression.

Mr Barnes said Miss Leicester had been a "stabilising" feature in Connolly's life and he spoke of loving her, but in many ways had actually become "dependent on her for affection" and couldn't accept when she asked him to leave her alone.

He said Connolly's mum, who was in court, had since brokered a contact arrangement so he could see his daughter, who he spent last weekend with, in anticipation of not seeing her for some time.

Stories from Liverpool Crown Court

  • Boy had pockets full of crack
  • Yob broke man's jaw in Pier Head trouble
  • Coked up dad and an extraordinary trial
  • Prisoners who boasted from behind bars

Judge Stuart Driver, QC, said "thankfully" Connolly's victim didn't require an operation as a result of the facial fracture.

He said: "It was a sustained and repeated assault on someone who was particularly vulnerable, because she was asleep in her own bed when you started to attack her."

Can you help us keep Merseyside covered?

The judge said Connolly had a record for violence and was serving a suspended sentence at the time, which was an aggravating feature of the case.

He revoked the community requirements of his remaining suspended sentence before jailing him for two years and two months, as his mum began to cry in the public gallery.

PUBLISH YOUR ARTICLE ON NEWSWIRRAL.CO.UK