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Beccles man spared jail after knocking his wife unconscious and carrying her body around London

PUBLISHED: 14:35 07 October 2015 | UPDATED: 16:55 07 October 2015

Norman Goodchild.

Norman Goodchild.

Archant

A Beccles man who knocked his wife unconscious and carried her body around the streets of London has been spared jail.

Norman Goodchild, 28, formerly of Beccles, and now of Cawston near Norwich, has been given a suspended sentence, community service and banned from contacting his wife for at least two years.

Highbury Corner Magistrates Court was told that Goodchild and his wife had been on a weekend of birthday celebrations in London when a row broke out.

During the row he knocked her unconscious with a single blow and then carried her with a gash on her head around London’s busy streets until shocked passers-by raised the alarm.

The court was told that the couple have a history of domestic turbulence during their eight-year relationship, with Goodchild convicted of battery in 2009 and later receiving a caution for assault.

While on bail awaiting the court hearing he was forced to move out of town and is currently living in Cawston.

Goodchild pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife, causing her actual bodily harm, in St Giles Street, Bloomsbury, on August 8.

He received 26 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months and must complete 180 hours community service work and complete a 20-day rehabilitation requirement.

The court also made a two-year restraining order, prohibiting him contacting his wife or visiting the former matrimonial home, and he was ordered to pay a £180 court charge, £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

The pair were in London celebrating Goodchild’s twenty-eighth birthday in the West End and met another couple he knew for the night out.

Prosecutor Penny Ferguson told the court on Tuesday that they went to a bar in Denmark Street, Soho, but the defendant and his friend kept going to the toilet and his wife tired of their drug-taking and decided to leave.

She was at the couple’s nearby flat when Goodchild returned in a temper.

Miss Ferguson added: “He said that she had made no effort to contact him and she said she had no mobile phone and did not know his number off by heart.

“The defendant grabbed his wife’s bag and went back out onto the street.

“She grabbed her friend’s mobile phone on the way and a witness sitting in a parked van saw Goodchild snatch it out of her hand, stamp on it and throw it at her.”

Miss Ferguson said a witness described the couple shouting in the street and Goodchild slapping his wife’s face, causing her to fall to the floor and be knocked unconscious.

She said several witnesses then saw the defendant carrying her towards Charing Cross Road and passers-by persuaded him to put her down and an ambulance was called.

Goodchild did not wait for the police and returned to Beccles, where he handed himself into a local station and made no comment when questioned.

His lawyer Nathan Seymour-Hyde said: “He’s embarrassed and ashamed and has shown genuine remorse and says it is scary what could have happened.”

He said both parties had consumed a lot of alcohol and his wife had left the bar for a cigarette and not returned. He said Goodchild went to the flat an hour-and-a-half later.

“He says she tried to grab some keys from him and he turned instinctively, a rush of blood to the head, and then picked her up and was trying to carry her back to the flat,” Mr Seymour-Hyde added.

He said any restraining order would make things very difficult for Goodchild in having access to his children.

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