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Mablethorpe plumber who left partner ‘scared for her life’ after hammer threats avoids jail by ‘hair’s breadth’

A man who threatened to kill his estranged partner and picked up a hammer after going to her home was spared an immediate jail sentence.

Stephen Maginnis, 62, left his former partner ‘scared for her life’ after he returned to her home in Maltby le Marsh to collect some of his belongings.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Maginnis, a self employed plumber, also parked his van behind the woman's car which prevented her from leaving the property with her teenage son.

Lincoln Crown Court
Lincoln Crown Court

Richardo Childs, prosecuting, said the couple had been in a relationship for around five years but the affray occurred on August 10 last year after Maginnis had recently moved out to his mother's address.

During the incident Maginnis also went into the garage and threatened to commit suicide, Mr Childs told the court.

The affray followed a previous assault in July 2020 when Maginnis recklessly pulled out one of his partner's ear rings and scratched her neck during a verbal argument.

In an impact statement which was read out in the court, the victim said: "On the day of the hammer attack I was scared for my life."

The woman said she also felt unable to protect her teenage son.

Maginnis, of The Strand, Mablethorpe, admitted two charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in July 2020 and affray on 10 August, 2023.

Nicola Patten, mitigating for Maginnis, said the affray occurred on the third anniversary of the suicide of his own adult son and urged the court to consider a suspended sentence.

"This is an incident where he has acted completely out of character after leading an otherwise law abiding life," Miss Patten told the court.

"It was a very happy relationship to begin with," Miss Patten added.

"Although it is clear things went awry and there was the incident in July 2020, when he pulled out an ear ring, there was a verbal argument."

Miss Patten said the incident in August 2023 occurred on the anniversary of his own adult son's suicide which Mr Maginnis had "kept deep down."

"When he found his belongings in the garage the red mist came down," Miss Patten said.

"He didn't go there with the intention of picking up the hammer and apologises for his actions.

"He is not a violent man."

The court heard Maginnis worked as a self employed plumber and had a good reputation in the local area.

Passing sentence Judge James House KC told Maginnis he had come a ‘hair's breadth’ from being sent straight to prison.

But Judge House said he accepted Maginnis was ‘not thinking straight’ because of the loss of his son in 2020 and still needed help.

Maginnis was sentenced to 17 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.

He must also complete 150 hours of unpaid work and 30 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days.

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