A vile bully who threatened to scoop out the eyeballs of his girlfriend while stamping on her face has been spared jailed after undertaking horse therapy to tackle his anger issues.
Former soldier Andrew Monks kicked his girlfriend in the genitals before making the threat to her eyesight and saying he would go on to torture her.
The jealous 37-year-old punched his victim, ripped off her dress, stole her mobile phone, and tried to force a spoon into her mouth.
But he walked free from court after a judge was told he was doing rehabilitation work including ‘equine therapy’ in an effort to ‘regain his honour’.
Liverpool Crown Court heard the woman was woken up by drunken Monks, at her Sefton Park home, in the early hours of February 26 this year.
Kyra Badman, prosecuting, said Monks accused his girlfriend of cheating on him and punched her in the face, after which she insulted his family.
Former soldier Andrew Monks, of Sefton Park, Merseyside, appeared by video link and walked free despite the abuse of his girlfriend, during which he threatened to scoop out her eyes
Monks called the police himself and when officers arrived, they noticed his girlfriend’s cheek was slightly swollen, but she didn’t report any attack and no action was taken.
After they left, his partner went to the toilet, but Monks walked in, grabbed her by the hair and pulled her to the floor.
Ms Badman told the court: ‘He stamped on her face with a bare foot. She said in her police statement he seemed to enjoy her being scared.’
When in the living room, Monks ripped her dress so it fell to her ankles, then as she tried to put some trousers on, punched her in the ribs.
Liverpool Crown Court heard the woman was woken up by drunken Monks, at her Sefton Park home, in the early hours of February 26 this year, before he accused her of cheating on him and then going to launch the attack
Ms Badman said of his girlfriend’s ordeal: ‘She recalls being kicked hard to the genitals.’ Monks removed her Fitbit watch and stole her mobile phone, then damaged her TV, pulled two canvases off the wall and took her makeup, before leaving at around 8.30am.
WHAT IS EQUINE THERAPY?
Equine assisted therapy is a holistic, experiential and highly specialised form of therapy that involves working in collaboration with a horse, your therapist and an expert horse handler.
During sessions, you don’t actually ride the horse. Instead, you carry out tasks such as feeding, grooming and leading the horse.
Sessions usually take place in small groups, where you may have specific tasks or ‘obstacles’ to overcome.
After sessions, you have the chance to discuss your experiences and emotions with your therapist.
Ultimately, the aim of equine therapy is to help you to discover more about yourself, develop new ways of thinking and change any negative behaviours.
Many of the benefits of equine therapy are likely due to the nature of the horses themselves.
Horses are naturally gentle and calm creatures, and are able to mirror and respond to human behaviour, meaning that they are highly effective at interacting and working with others in a patient and non-judgemental manner.
Those who struggle to articulate how they’re feeling often find equine therapy useful as they’re able to express their emotions and feelings with their horse.
In addition, individuals who find it hard to trust others or be intimate with people, can often achieve a strong bond and a level of closeness with their horse, and experience affection, acceptance and mutual respect.
Equine therapy doesn’t just result in psychological benefits – it has physical benefits too.
Equine therapy has been found to reduce people’s blood pressure and heart rate, and help to calm physical symptoms of conditions such as anxiety and stress.
Information via priorygroup.com
He returned a short time later and put his arm out to stop her leaving. Ms Badman said: ‘She described looking into his eyes and seeing nothing there but a blank look.
‘He then punched her repeatedly to the head, before stamping on her face about three to four times.’
The victim again tried to escape, but Monks closed the front door on her legs and pulled her inside.
Ms Badman added: ‘He then told her to bite down on a spoon that he tried to force into her mouth and said he would torture her.
‘He threatened to break her teeth and scoop her eyes out. He then told her she wasn’t a victim of domestic violence, and it’s him that’s the victim and it’s her who drives him to behave in the way he does.’
The woman eventually managed to flee to a neighbour’s flat, the police were called and she went to hospital.
She suffered a black left eye and bruised cheek, marks to her neck and left leg, and a bruised and tender head.
When arrested and interviewed by police, Monks claimed his partner had been aggressive, so he called police.
Monks, who has 15 past convictions for 30 offences, said he then left and the rest of the accusations were lies.
He was set to stand trial, but later admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, theft and damaging property.
His partner, who has not been named, provided a victim impact statement, which was ‘supportive’ of Monks.
Ms Badman said: ‘There was a retraction statement made in this case, in which she asserts she is now expecting Mr Monks’ child and does not want a restraining order, though she does say they’re not together now.’
She said the woman now claimed some of her words in her original police statement had been ‘twisted’, but Monks pleaded guilty to the ‘full facts’ of the prosecution case.
Monks, of Croxteth Drive, Sefton Park, has a history of domestic violence and once battered his pregnant wife just weeks after their wedding.
Monks was discharged from the Army in 2007. He has domestic violence related convictions in 2007, 2013 and 2017 and breached a restraining order in 2017.
Judge Garrett Byrne asked Michael O’Brien, defending, how he could suspend any sentence given Monks’ ‘unenviable history of violence’.
Mr O’Brien said Monks had done ‘everything he can’, including writing a letter expressing his ‘shame and sorrow’.
He said Monks had ‘worked as hard as he ever has’ on rehabilitation and the fact he served his country was also mitigation.
The lawyer said Monks had engaged with military veteran addiction centre Tom Harrison House, which wrote a letter praising his sincere commitment.