Father-of-one jailed after stamping on pregnant girlfriend's head

Father-of-one is jailed for 22 months after campaign of violence against his pregnant girlfriend including punching her, stamping on her head and forcing her to drink from the floor

  • Jayden Knight, 27, was jailed for abusing his 25-year-old girlfriend Sophie Whitby
  • He started the assaults in October after she became pregnant near Rochdale
  • On New Year’s Eve he forced her to drink from a puddle ‘like a dog’ outside
  • Miss Whitby suffered ‘nightmares’ after the attacks left her emotionally hurt 

An obsessed brute who subjected his pregnant girlfriend to a violent hate campaign as she agonised over whether to keep their unborn baby was jailed today.

Father-of-one Jayden Knight, 27, from Greater Manchester, repeatedly beat 25-year old Sophie Whitby after she suggested she might not keep the child.

During the spate of attacks, Knight stamped on Miss Whitby punched and grabbed her by the throat, poured drinks over her head and forced her to drink from the floor.

In the first attack in October he wrote on Facebook ‘someone is going to get it today’ before turning up at the victim’s home whilst she was in the bath to attack her. 

Jayden Knight, 27, from Middleton, Greater Manchester, was jailed for 22 months and given a restraining order of five years after repeatedly assaulting his pregnant girlfriend

He shouted ‘you think you can get away with ignoring me?’ and said ‘if you do not get out of the bath I will drag you out’.

Knight, from Middleton, near Rochdale, pinned her against the bathroom wall and punched her.

He assaulted her five times in total, forcing her to drink from a puddle outside ‘like a dog’ on New Year’s Eve.

He later blamed the assaults on mental health issues after Miss Whitby, who has two children from a previous relationship, decided to terminate the birth.

Miss Whitby said: ‘My relationship with him was bad for my mental and emotional health.

‘I always felt like I was walking on coals, he put me down and called me names which affected my confidence. I ended up blaming myself for what he said to me. 

Knight pleaded guilty to occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault and criminal damage

‘The night after I called police I woke up in the middle of the night following a nightmare in which he “came for me” like he threatened to do. 

‘I didn’t return home until after I found out he had been arrested and remanded in custody. I am upset and angry.’

At Manchester Crown Court, Knight admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault and criminal damage and was jailed for 22 months. 

He was also banned from contacting Miss Whitby for five years under the terms of a restraining order.

The pair moved in together shortly after they started dating in August last year but the relationship soured in October when Miss Whitby discovered she was pregnant.

Prosecutor David Lees said: ‘She did not want to keep the child and he was upset by this and started becoming aggressive and abusive. 

Knight first began abusing Sophie Whitby, 25, in October after she became pregnant three months into their relationship

‘They had had an argument that day which began face-to-face but continued over text when he was at work.

‘He then wrote on Facebook “someone is going to get it today”. 

‘When he returned home she was in the bath and he began shouting at her and said “you think you can get away with ignoring me?”.

‘He carried on “if you do not get out of the bath I will drag you out” and asks “how do you think you can speak to other guys?”. 

‘He then spat at her and grabbed her in the bathroom. She began running another bath and he asked her where her phone was and searched for it.

‘He then pinned her against the back of the bath and said “I am going to kill you”. 

Judge Elizabeth Nicholls told Knight his behaviour was ‘humiliating, degrading, frightening and painful and your attitude to women is concerning’

‘He poured water over her head and said he was ‘just getting started’ and punched her in the bathroom.’ 

On October 20 the pair were out shopping when he made threats to assault her child’s father, calling her a ‘slag’ and pouring lager over her head.

When they returned home he pushed her into the washing machine and she suffered bruising on her arms and banged her head on the cupboard.

On New Year’s Eve, Knight saw her text a male friend and called her a slag and a rat before throwing her to the ground and pushing her face into a puddle outside. 

He told her to ‘lick it up like a dog’ after he said it would be the ‘worst New Year’s ever’ while he drank beer and went to McDonalds.

Mr Lees said: ‘On 4 January they began arguing after she accidentally shut him out.

‘He became abusive and later grabbed the defendant by the throat and slammed her on the kitchen worktop. 

‘He then punched her body, ribs and kidney. She then asked him to leave and he refused.’

His final attack came on January 8, when Miss Whitby rang police after being stamped on, injuring her head and leg.

She realised she would be unable to pick her child up from school after the assault and Knight was arrested after he refused to let her ring a friend to pick up her child.

Knight has nine previous offences including a conviction for harassment and in August 2015 he was convicted of domestic violence against a previous partner.

Defence barrister Paul Bryning said: ‘The offences are appalling and he is ashamed of himself. 

‘He is remorseful but he disputes stamping on the complainant’s head. 

Knight was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court today and was told not to let his daughter become another victim of domestic violence

‘He told me his partner fell pregnant with a child and decided to abort it which affected his mental health issues and has suffered with that for some time. 

‘He also stopped taking his medication around this time.

‘He has a child from a previous partner and maintains a good relationship with her and plays an active part in that child’s life.’

Speaking to Knight, Judge Elizabeth Nicholls said: ‘Fortunately, her injuries were not serious or permanent however, your conduct on each occasion was humiliating, degrading, frightening and painful and your attitude to women is concerning. 

‘On at least two occasions you assaulted her in the presence of your child, exposing them to the concerns that domestic violence causes.

‘I have seen that you have had a dysfunctional upbringing which has impacted your life and mental health and has led to you abusing alcohol and drugs. 

‘That past is now repeating itself in the way you conducted yourself in front of your partner and her daughters.

‘You must address those issues and you are going to have to address them in custody. You cannot allow your daughter to become another victim.’

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