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Boyfriend who broke partner’s cheekbone and cut her with Stanley knife branded serious danger to women

Dominic Chrich-Holmes was jailed at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.
Dominic Chrich-Holmes was jailed at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

A violent boyfriend has been branded a serious danger to women and jailed for more than four years after he subjected his partner to a catalogue of cruelty and mental abuse.

Dominic Chrich-Holmes ripped clumps of hair from his victim and slashed her with a Stanley knife during months of domestic abuse, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

On another occasion, he broke the woman’s cheekbone and then punched her injured face again when she returned home from hospital.

The 32-year-old’s vile behaviour and abuse spanned more than three months and also saw him control the woman’s money, movements and relationships with her mother and daughter.

Chrich-Holmes,  of Aberdeen, has now been jailed but tragically his sentence came too late for his victim to see justice – the court was told she died earlier this year.

Controlling behaviour and violence

Fiscal depute Brian Young said the couple, who were together between April 2021 to April 2022, moved to Aberdeen from Doncaster and it was then that the man’s controlling behaviour worsened.

In a statement given to police before her death, his victim said that since November 2021 anytime she would get money through Universal Credit, Chrich-Holmes would take it from her and withhold it, often stashing it in his sock.

“She would then need to ask the accused for money and explain to him what the money was for,” the fiscal said.

“Similarly, since around December 2021, the accused would control her mobile phone and she would need to ask him if she wanted to use it.”

When his victim’s mum became a full-time carer for the woman’s daughter in December 2021 Chrich-Holmes began dictating when his girlfriend could visit her own daughter.

When she did visit, he would make her feel guilty about it and tell her that “he was left all alone” and that she “was away for far too long”, the court heard.

As a result, the woman “hardly ever visited” her daughter and when she did these visits were cut short by Chrich-Holmes banging the door from outside and “demanding” she leave.

Family noticed bruising

In January this year, the violence escalated.

On one occasion, Chrich-Holmes slapped the woman so hard while she slept that she lost the hearing in her left ear for more than three weeks.

“On a date towards the end of the month, the complainer returned home at around 8pm and as she opened the door the accused was standing next to the door with a grin on his face,” the court heard.

“As she walked into the address, the accused grabbed her by the hair and dragged her down the landing stairs to the floor below her address. Whilst doing so, the complainer was screaming.”

When the woman’s mum noticed bruising to her face and arms on a supermarket visit she covered up the abuse.

Mr Young added: “The bruising to her arms looked like fingerprints as if someone had grabbed her. When asked about it in front of the accused, she said that the accused was teaching her how to cage fight.”

Further violence occurred in March, when Chrich-Holmes punched her in what she told police was a “kidney shot”.

This punch to the ribs left her “shouting and screaming due to being in so much pain” and with suspected broken ribs, the court heard.

Less than a month later, on April 18 this year, the woman was hospitalised after a brutal attack at their Clifton Road home.

Bravely told mum and support worker about abuse

“On this occasion, he started punching her all over her body,” the fiscal said. “She thought that she had blacked out and recalled being in extreme pain and her face being swollen.

“Thereafter she recalls waking up in the hospital and being assessed by doctors who advised that she had a broken cheekbone and would require surgery.

“She spent three days in hospital with facial trauma and suffered a fractured cheekbone, orbital bone and bruising on her body.”

Upon her discharge, the woman bravely told her mum and a key worker that Chrich-Holmes had been assaulting her.

She returned to her mum’s home this time but was forced to return to her flat when Chrich-Holmes showed up.

Stanley knife attack

And just a day later, she was attacked again, this time battered on her already broken face and had clumps of hair torn from her head.

Mr Young said: “He punched and slapped her to the right side of her face. This was painful for the complainer due to it having been broken a couple of days earlier and this would have been known to the accused.

“He then grabbed her by the hair and pulled her by the hair through to the living room.

“She shouted and screamed for the accused to stop, but he did not.

“During the course of this assault, he had a Stanley knife in his hand and slashed the
complainer twice to her upper right thigh, causing her to fall to the ground.

“The complainer spoke of passing out at this time. Paramedics attended and she was taken to hospital.

“She was observed to have sustained two lacerations to her upper right thigh, chunks of her hair had been pulled out which resulted in numerous bald patches all over her head and she had severe bruising all over her body.”

‘He has shown a clear denial’

Chrich-Holmes, who has been held at HMP Grampian since June, admitted a charge of domestic abuse.

Defence agent Sam Milligan said: “It’s clear in this matter that he has shown a clear denial but I have spoken to him this morning and the terms of the plea were agreed.

“I don’t want M’Lord to think that ducks and drakes were played here with the court.

“There is nothing in his previous record that is directly analogous.”

Sheriff Graham Buchanan jailed Chrich-Holmes for four years and two months.

The sheriff added: “This involves a case of abusive behaviour towards your partner over a significant amount of time and involved not only controlling behaviour but serious and escalating violence, including the use of a knife that resulted in serious injury to the victim.

“I consider that the level of risk that you pose is significant as well as a risk of causing serious harm to women.”

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