A DOMESTIC abuser who repeatedly punched his girlfriend in the face would have been jailed for longer “if prisons were not under such enormous pressure”.

Damien Johnson heard a judge wanted to lock him up for a lengthier term but couldn’t because of the current strain on the system.

The defendant, 27, of Somerset Street, Abertillery, who has a history of domestic violence, was also condemned for the “humiliating and degrading” attack on his partner.


Mike Williams, prosecuting, told Newport Magistrates’ Court how members of the public witnessed Johnson assaulting her in the street after midnight on Valentine’s Day.

He said: “The emergency services were called after they heard the woman calling, ‘Get off me, please, please’.

“They saw the defendant punch her several times to the face.”

Judge David Parsons heard how police were soon on the scene in Abertillery and that Johnson became “aggressive” to the attending officers.

The defendant admitted assault by beating and resisting arrest.

The court was told how the couple were both “intoxicated” during the incident.

It heard also how Johnson had previous convictions for the harassment of his grandmother and for a domestic violence battery on another victim.

Andrea Nash-Harding, representing the defendant, was told by Judge Parsons: “He has sensibly pleaded guilty.”

He added to Johnson: “It seems that those involved in a relationship with you have to suffer either harassment or violence.

“This was a humiliating and degrading assault on your partner and an abuse of power.

“She is a lady in a relationship with you and she should be able to trust you and that you not harm her.”

The court heard he had already served 27 days in custody and was jailed for 54 days which means he is now eligible for release.

Judge Parsons said: “Prisons are under enormous pressure. Normally, he would have been serving an extra eight weeks.”

Johnson was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge.