A drunk father used his eight-month-old baby as a shield while he tried to punch and kick police officers at his home after beating up his girlfriend.
Steven Irving, 23, of Wigton, Cumbria, launched a 45-minute attack in August on his girlfriend Emma Robinson, 20, that left her in hospital with bruising and swelling to her face and body.
Miss Robinson said Irving had started drinking at 3pm on the day, returning home at 10.30pm. He managed to get in the house despite her refusal to let him inside because he was so drunk.
Irving was jailed for two-and-a-half years at court after admitting assaulting Miss Robinson and a police officer called to the scene.
She said: ‘It was 45 minutes of hell. I thought I was going to die. I wouldn’t let him in the house and told him that because he was so drunk he could go elsewhere but he managed to get in.
‘He shouted at me that it was his bed and he wasn’t going anywhere else. An argument broke out and that’s when the threats started.
‘He said I would wake up in hospital and kept threatening to kill me. I was so frightened I rang a friend but the attack continued while they were on the phone. My friend could hear everything that was going on until Steven threw my phone so hard against the wall it left an imprint.
‘He kept on punching me in the face and tried to strangle me, then he banged my head on the ground. He dragged me from the bed and grabbed me by the hair then booted me in the face.’
Miss Robinson said when she decided to take the case to court, she was criticised because they had a four-year relationship and two children together.
‘I can see why people don’t report domestic violence,’ she said. ‘Every day the images of that night are there in my mind.’
Her actions were praised by police after Irving admitted assault at a Carlisle Crown Court hearing.
Detective Inspector Barry Carruthers said: ‘She did exactly the right thing in reporting this terrifying incident. Our target is to actually increase reports of domestic abuse and reduce repeat victims.
‘We don’t want victims to cover it up. We want them to report incidents to us and together with our partners we want to take positive action first time and prevent it happening again.’
The court heard that during the incident PC Chris Hallam was twice kneed in the head. During police interview Irving said he could not remember the incident, having been drinking heavily all afternoon.