New dad jailed for assaulting ex partner and her friend in Halifax

Jailed: Gareth Betts, of Heath Road, Halifax
Jailed: Gareth Betts, of Heath Road, Halifax

A new father whose baby was born prematurely a few weeks ago has been jailed for nine months following a disturbance at his ex-partner’s home.

Gareth Betts and his former partner Claire Shaw split up in December, but the next month the 23-year-old turned up drunk at her Halifax home and during a disturbance he damaged the front door, pushed her out of the way and tried to attack her friend Matthew Spencer.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Betts made threats to kill Mr Spencer, but the defendant came off worse in a struggle and when Mr Spencer decided to leave the house Betts grabbed a small vegetable knife and chased after him.

Prosecutor Heather Gilmore told the court that Betts threatened to stab the complainant and Mr Spencer only escaped by jumping into a taxi which had arrived to collect him from Laura Street.

Betts, of Heath Road, Halifax, was arrested that night and last month he admitted charges of criminal damage, common assault on Miss Shaw and Mr Spencer, having an offensive weapon and affray.

Betts admitted having the knife on the basis that he did not intend to use it and his lawyer Nigel Jamieson said his client had picked it up in “drunken frustration”.

Mr Jamieson said there was no good reason for Betts’s behaviour that night and said he had lost his temper after having too much to drink.

The court heard that at the time of the incident Betts was already in a new relationship himself and his new partner gave birth to their child prematurely earlier this month.

Mr Jamieson said Betts had been attending the hospital every day and he urged the Recorder of Bradford Judge Roger Thomas QC to suspend any prison sentence.

But the judge told Betts that he had chosen to go round to the house that night in drink and it was impossible not to send him to prison.