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Cleaning obsession lands Walsall man in jail

By John Scott | Walsall | Crime | Published:

An obsession with cleaning landed Graham Gaunt in jail today.

Wolverhampton Crown Court

The 53-year-old snapped when a visitor poked fun at him as he started using the vacuum cleaner to tidy up the Walsall home of his former partner, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

"He was doing some house cleaning when a friend made a joking comment that led to him losing his temper," explained Mr Hugh O'Brien Quinn, prosecuting.

Gaunt turned his anger on his former partner who had not even made the comment, it was said. He heaped abuse on the woman, branded her as lazy and started beating her with the vacuum's metal pole on April 30.

He hit her over the head several times before grabbing a bottle and trying to strike her with that as well. Fortunately he missed but threatened to kill her as a young child watched in horror, continued Mr O'Brien Quinn.

The woman managed to get out of the kitchen into another room and kept the internal door shut for long enough to ring the police. He left the address but was arrested later.

Gaunt had an obsessive compulsive disorder for cleaning, said Mr Richard Davenport, defending, who added: "This is what led to him attacking the woman. He had the mickey taken out of him because of his compulsion."

Gaunt from Emery Street, Walsall had 'numerous' previous convictions including several of violence against women - two of which involved the most recent victim.

He pleaded guilty to assault and was sent to prison for 11 months by Judge Peter Barrie who told him: "You are old enough to know better.

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"You lost your temper after a small provocation. There was no excuse for it whatsoever. She had not even made the comment. For her this was the end of the road as far as her relationship with you is concerned.

"You lost all self control and this must have been terrifying for the child who witnessed the incident. Given your history of behaviour towards women and the involvement of the child immediate custody is inevitable."

The judge also made the defendant the subject of a restraining order which bans any contact with the victim for an indefinite period.

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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