Thug smashed partner in face with can of lager when she wouldnt drink with him

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A convicted gangland killer and rapist smashed a can of lager into his girlfriend's face because she didn't want to drink with him at 7am after he bundled into her flat bleeding profusely.

Stephen Rice, 55, attacked the woman after she tried to help him with a badly cut finger, accusing her of seeing other men.

He had been ransacking his flat before arriving at her apartment, directly above his, with four cans of lager and his injury to boot.

She wrapped a towel around his injured hand before he launched into allegations that she was unfaithful, all the while refusing an ambulance.

The prosecution told Newcastle Crown Court that because the woman would not drink, he smashed a full can of lager in her face.

"He then got upset and said 'look what you've made me do' and began to cry," Alec Burns, prosecuting, told the court.

Rice, who has served prison sentences for an underworld shooting manslaughter in Newcastle city centre, wounding with intent and rape, had been released on licence when he attacked his partner.

A court heard the victim lived in the flat above his in Gateshead and they had begun a relationship after growing close when she initially went round to complain about noise.

When interviewed by police, Rice, outrageously claimed the victim had hit herself with the can but he later went on to plead guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and was promptly jailed him for 14 months.

Recorder Carl Gumsley said: "This was a nasty offence against somebody you were professing to have a meaningful and, one assumes, loving relationship and it happened in her home.

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"You have an appalling and most troubling record – you have convictions for some of the most serious offences of violence."

Ian Brook, defending, said Rice had met the woman "as she had complained about the racket in is flat and they entered a relationship which was somewhat volatile."

He said his client was a career criminal and that the woman was aware of the manslaughter conviction and the rapes.

He called the pair "kindred spirits."

"They both had mental health issues and drank to excess and had drug issues," he said.

Rice was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for eight years after he shot dead a rival during a gunfight in a bar days before Christmas in 1995.

He was back inside for six-and-a-half years in 2006 for his part in a conspiracy to spread cocaine through the city.

In 2011 he was jailed for 11 years for a “sustained” attack on a mother in her Newcastle home. He struck the victim with a weightlifting bar before raping her.

  • Crime

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