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Drunk Barnstaple man threatens to chop dog's head off

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: October 04, 2012

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A TRANSPORT worker sliced his neck with a kitchen knife and threatened to chop off the head of his girlfriend's dog after a night out drinking, a court heard.

Carl Henry Robert Balment, 31, of 36 Park Avenue, Barnstaple, appeared before North Devon Magistrates' Court on Monday after spending the weekend in custody.

He pleaded guilty at the hearing to assaulting Jade Arney by beating and also to criminal damage in Barnstaple on September 29.

Sue Roberts, for the prosecution, told the court it was a domestic incident.

The complainant is the girlfriend of the defendant and the incident happened in the early hours of the morning at her flat.

She said Balment has a history of domestic violence with previous partners.

The court was told that on Friday evening the complainant was working at a bar in Barnstaple. The defendant had been out drinking.

Miss Roberts said at 3am the defendant started banging on the door to her flat.

"She begged him not to smash her flat up again.

"He pushed her and she hit her head on the floor," she said.

Balment then got two knives from the kitchen and sliced his neck causing a five to six inch laceration on the right hand side.

Miss Roberts said he started to rip at his girlfriend's top but she wriggled free and ran from the flat to phone police.

"He grabbed one of her dogs and threatened to chop its head off.

"She got back to her flat and found he had smashed it up."

Miss Roberts said the defendant was drunk and could barely stand.

The court heard that Balment has anger issues and had stopped taking anti-depressants.

Tim Hook, for the defence, said: "He has accepted it is a disturbing set of circumstances."

Mr Hook said the defendant intended his partner no harm.

"She says she is not scared of him, it was more a case of being scared of what he might do to himself," he said.

"He made a dramatic demonstration in the flat that was all directed at him. His state of mind was affected by alcohol and he had not been taking his anti-depressants as they were slowing him down and he works in a manual capacity."

The case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report.

Magistrates granted Balment bail with conditions to reside at 36 Park Avenue, not to go to his girlfriend's home or place of work, and not to be under the influence of alcohol in a public place.

They also imposed a curfew with electronic tagging from 10pm to 6am.

Balment is due to be sentenced on October 26.

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