Jail for Hatfield gardener who attacked Royston woman while on crack cocaine

PUBLISHED: 12:08 11 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:17 11 March 2019

Matthew Yarwood has been jailed at St Albans Crown Court for an attack in Hatfield. Picture: DANNY LOO

Matthew Yarwood has been jailed at St Albans Crown Court for an attack in Hatfield. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

A landscape gardener from Hatfield has been jailed for attacking his Royston partner in a “disgusting and despicable” assault.

Matthew Yarwood – of Lemsford Road – had been taking crack cocaine and blew up in an aggressive rage in a row over money, St Albans Crown Court heard on Friday.

Prosecutor Neil King said the woman had been in a relationship with Yarwood for two years and had become worried about his drug-taking and drinking.

On November 20 last year she went to the 47-year-old’s flat and, during a row, he threw coffee over her, dragged her to the fire escape and told her: “I ******* hate you, you *****.”

Mr King said he repeatedly struck her across the arms and dragged her towards Hatfield’s Asda store. She was hit with a bag that contained beer cans, which caused a previous wound to open.

He said: “It was a sustained and repeated assault, late at night at his home and in the street.”

Yarwood also offered to fight two men in the area before the police arrived and arrested him. He told the police she had been the aggressor.

The victim suffered bruising to her left eye plus cuts and grazes to her hand and knees. The wound to her hand had to be repaired.

Yarwood appeared for sentence on a video link from Bedford prison, having earlier pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm. He had 10 previous convictions for 11 offences, but none for violence.

Defending, Tim Scarisbrook said there had been a row over money.

“He snapped and lost control, and is utterly sorry,” he said.

He said Yarwood was trying to seek help from the prison’s mental health wing.

Jailing him for 12 months, Recorder John Bate-Williams said: “This was an aggressive and violent assault. It was a cowardly act.

“This was clearly an assault in the context of domestic violence. She was vulnerable and made her fear and distress clear. It was a disgusting and despicable attack.”

The judge said he accepted that Yarwood felt shame and remorse. He made a restraining order banning him from contacting the victim or going to her home in Royston for the next three years.

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