A man has denied breaking his girlfriend’s arm during an attack at their home in Dartmouth.
Stefan Peers is alleged to have kicked his partner while she was on the floor, injuring her arm as she tried to protect herself.
A few weeks later, while her arm was in plaster, he is alleged to have attacked her a second time, this time because he was not happy about a ready meal she was going to serve him.
Peers, 30, is standing trial at Exeter Crown Court where he denies inflicting grievous bodily harm and common assault in August 2020. He says the woman was injured when his dogs pulled her over on a walk.
Prosecutor Ms Mary McCarthy said the pair had been in a relationship for a number of years but at the time of the alleged offences it was not going smoothly, partly due to his use of cannabis and unpleasant behaviour.
The first alleged attack happened at 10am while Peers was preparing himself a joint. He is said to have flown into a rage after she muttered something under her breath about wanting to leave him.
“Her recollection is that he got hold of her and put her to the floor, shouting at her. He went to kick her and she tried to defend herself. She managed to block the kick from her body but realised there was a serious injury to her arm.”
The woman left the room to lie down but was in too much pain. Ms McCarthy said Peers initial reaction was to smoke his joint and complain he had not hurt her.
He initially refused to take her to the hospital before driving to the minor injuries unit in Totnes, said the prosecutor. He then dropped her at Torbay Hospital where doctors confirmed the arm was broken in two places.
“On the way he told her she should give an explanation she had been pulled over by their dogs,” said Ms McCarthy.
“She did give that explanation.”
The second alleged assault happened on August 23 after Peers came home from work and got upset when he realised she was preparing him a ready meal.
The Crown say Peers then lost his temper after she asked him for help cutting open a packet of mince.
“He grabbed her by the throat and pushed her to the floor,” said Ms McCarthy.
“After she got up he pushed her against the kitchen cabinet.”
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The alleged offences only came to light when she returned to hospital for a check-up and told a nurse what had really happened.
Peers told the jury he had never been physically violent to his former partner.
Asked by defence counsel Mr William Parkhill whether he had caused the injury to her arm he said he had not.
“I helped and cared for her and took her to hospital and made sure she was ok,” he said. “I took her to a follow-up appointment and helped around the house.”
He said he was not present when she sustained the injury to her arm. He said he owned two huskies and a Brittany spaniel.
“She was out in the morning walking the dogs and from my understanding the dogs have seen a cat and bolted, physically pulling her to the ground and the kerb. This is what she told me, effectively breaking her arm in the process.”
He said the second alleged assault did not happen. He admitted he was upset about not being served a fresh meal and calling her selfish but did not resort to violence.
“She had been at home all day and she was stumbling around trying to think about what to do for dinner,” he said.
He said if anything he had been ‘too nice’ to her compared to people he had seen in other relationships.
Cross examined he admitted picking up the packet of mince to show his partner how easy it was to open with one arm.
“Might it not be quicker to open it yourself?” asked Judge Timothy Rose.
“That’s what I did,” said the defendant.
The trial continues.
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