Drummer blames lockdown pressure for hammer attack on girlfriend
An autistic Derbyshire man described as a ‘gentle giant’ has been jailed for a series of cruel attacks on his partner at their home.
Jordan Brooks hit, bit and attacked his prison worker girlfriend with a hammer, injuring her so badly that she had to go to A&E, needed surgery and had to miss work.
Barrister Benn Robinson said the pressure of the lockdown was partly to blame for his client’s violent outbursts and that Brooks was a “gentle giant” and “otherwise very pleasant to be around”.
Brooks had moved into a property in Ripley with his victim during the lockdown at the height of the pandemic, with the pair meeting online.
“It may have taken its toll on Jordan Brooks,” his solicitor told Nottingham Crown Court on Monday February 21.
He did not appreciate moving to Derbyshire and being away from his support network, and his cousin also died in difficult circumstances, the court heard.
Brooks and the victim had been together for just over a year when he became physically abusive.
The victim got to the point where she had to miss work after he regularly assaulted her, the court heard.
But eventually she revealed what was happening when official action was taken against her for her absences.
In one incident on June 2, 2021, he attacked his arm – punching it, hitting it with a TV remote and biting it.
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Then he hit her on the head, pushed her, put his hands around her throat and hit her with a hammer.
Brooks took her phone from her and pushed her into a freestanding shelf.
With her hair now matted with blood, she knocked on her window to get a neighbor’s attention.
When emergency services arrived, she was taken to hospital to treat her head injury.
In a police interview, she revealed there had been a previous attack – an injury – on April 22, 2021, when Brooks was in bed and she said he shouldn’t pull the hair out of her beard.
He took that as an insult and hit her.
Then Brooks picked up a hammer, beside the bed, and swung at his legs. The hammer cut her wrist when she reached out to stop it.
She was taken to the emergency room and had to be operated on.
A restraining order was issued against Brooks for five years and he was sentenced to 16 months concurrently for assault, bodily harm and bodily harm.
Mr Robinson said Brooks, who had no previous convictions and pleaded guilty, had credentials which described him as a ‘gentle giant and someone who is otherwise very pleasant to be around’.
In the background, he said Brooks found school very difficult and that he was bullied by his peers and was diagnosed with autism, anxiety and depression.
He took a computer course at university and became a support worker for an autism charity in Birmingham where he grew up and lived with his mother.
But he started talking with the woman online and then they moved in together to an address in Ripley “in the midst of the pandemic and restrictions were in place”, Mr Robinson said.
Judge Nigel Godsmark QC noted that Brooks, 26, of Park Road, Ripley, had been in custody for eight months and was expected to be released very soon.
From the medical reports, Judge understood that Brooks was unable to handle his emotions and the pressure around him.
“It has been exacerbated and intensified during isolation during the pandemic,” he told Brooks, who appeared on a video link from HMP Nottingham.
“Twice, quite separately, you attacked [the victim] with a hammer like that, maybe it’s lucky for you and for her that the injuries weren’t even more serious.”
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