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A man punched and kicked his former “best friend” in the head after a night of heavy drinking leaving her with serious injuries.
Steven Law, 44, was jailed over the “terrifying” assault that broke his victim’s jaw and left cheekbone.
Law, of Speke, Merseyside, sobbed in the dock at Liverpool Crown Court as prosecutors outlined how he ruined a 20-year friendship.
The pair were at one stage in a relationship but remained “good friends” after they split up, reports the Liverpool Echo.
Louise Santamera, prosecuting, said the mum invited Law round to her house in Anfield on the evening of March 30 last year.
But he seemed “angry” on arrival and the pair ended up “bickering” and “arguing” during “not the most pleasant of evenings”.
Ms Santamera said Ms Hanson decided to go to bed at around 10.45pm, but said by now Law was drunk and being “difficult”.
She said: “He was starting to be aggressive towards her and she said ‘I really do want you to leave now’. He then flatly refused and said ‘I’m, not f***ing going’.”
The victim rang Law’s mother, but when his father answered, Law grabbed her mobile phone and threw it across the room.
Ms Santamera said: “He then launched a completely unprovoked attack on her.
He pushed her into the corner of the wall and then rained blows down on her face. She described them as being punches.
“She fell to the floor and even after she fell to the floor, he continued to punch her, punching her primarily towards the face and the back of her head.”
Law also repeatedly kicked and punched “terrified” Ms Hanson to the face and legs when she was in a kneeling position.
Ms Santamera added: “He could have stopped and he chose to carry on.”
She said the victim screamed at Law to get off and shouted for help, and a neighbour called the police, who arrested Law.
Officers took photos of Ms Hanson’s injuries the next day, which included “severe” swelling to her left cheek, two black eyes, bruising to her legs, and cuts to her lip, forehead and the back of her head.
Police encouraged her to go to hospital, where doctors noted a fractured mandible and left cheekbone, but opted against surgery.
In a victim statement made in June, Ms Hanson said her broken jaw had healed well, but the broken cheekbone was continuing to cause her problems.
Ms Santamera said: “She may need to have cosmetic surgery. I think in essence some fatty tissue injected into the cheekbone area, so as to remove the depression that has been caused by the assault.”
Law admitted the attack to police, but initially tried to claim Ms Hanson had been shouting and screaming in his face, which caused him to lose self-control.
Ms Santamera said: “However, when shown the photos of the injuries he then threw himself on the floor in the interview in a most distressed state.
“He was crying and was saying to the police officer he would never forgive himself for what he had done to his best friend.”
Law, who admitted causing grievous bodily harm, cried in the dock and covered his face with his hands.
Ian Harris, defending, said his client had no previous convictions and reading multiple character references and a pre-sentence report, many people would be “staggered” to hear what he had done.
The lawyer said: “There hasn’t been any hint in his background of anything like this before, in fact to the contrary, he’s had a long relationship with the complainant, he’s assisted her and he’s assisted her children.”
Mr Harris said Law couldn’t explain what made him act that way and if it was fuelled by drink, that was an explanation, not an excuse.
He said: “His apology is without qualification for how he behaved.
“It became apparent in the police interview – I’ve never come across a man throwing himself on the floor in tears, when what he’s done actually dawns on him, as it did here.”
He asked Judge Julian Knowles, QC, to bear in mind Law’s previous good character and early guilty plea and spare him jail.
Mr Harris said: “This defendant just won’t offend again – it’s as simple as that.”
However, Judge Knowles said the attack was just too serious for any punishment other than immediate custody to be appropriate.
He jailed Law for 18 months and handed him a seven-year restraining order to protect Ms Hanson.