EXCLUSIVE: A "VIOLENT" thug who assaulted and threatened to stab the mother of his son and sent her a string of "vile" text messages has been jailed for three years.
Gavin Bainbridge, 39, who has a string of previous convictions for violence and domestic abuse, pulled out a lock knife and repeatedly threatened to stab former partner Karen Wallis, because she refused to return to his flat to discuss their relationship.
Cambridge Crown Court today (11/01/18) heard Bainbridge, of West Street, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, became incensed after she left his flat on the morning of August 9 2017, after the pair argued over phone messages sent on her mobile phone.
Prosecuting, James Earle, said Bainbridge later sent Miss Wallis a string of abusive messages before turning up at her home and place of work, the Ferry Project in South Brink, Wisbech, which offers accommodation to vulnerable people.
VIOLENT: Gavin Bainbridge was jailed for three years for producing the knife
He demanded she return to his flat to talk, Mr Earle said.
The court heard Bainbridge has 24 previous convictions for 47 separate offences, dating back over two decades.
They include previous domestic assaults, and attacks on police officers.
He also has a history of alcohol and drug abuse.
Mr Earle said: "She agreed to talk but in a public place on bench in the green area close to the Ferry Project, because she was alarmed by the argument in the morning.
"Once outside he insisted she go to his flat. He was not satisfied when she said no and became upset, pulling a lock knife, a Stanley Knife type device, from his pocket.
"He grabbed Miss Wallis with his other hand and threatened to stab her if she did not go with him.
"That behaviour continued over a minute when he repeatedly concealed and produced the knife, trying to take the victim with him.
"He said 'I'll stab you right here, so f***ing come with me'."
She did not relent and Bainbridge eventually left and was arrested shortly after.
He told police his abusive texts "needed to be read in context" with those she sent him, and that he had the knife on him because it was his, but he had found it in her bag.
Justice: Bainbridge was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court today
He denied to officers threatening her with it, but the incident was captured on CCTV, the court heard.
The couple met in 2009, and have a seven-year-old son, while Bainbridge also had contact with her other children from previous relationships.
In 2012 Bainbridge was jailed for four months after being convicted of battery against Miss Wallis, and two counts of harassment.
He was also placed under a restraining order not to contact her, but the court heard it had since expired.
Mr Earle said Bainbridge had been jailed or sent to a young offenders' institution on ten previous occasions.
In 1998 he was sentenced to 12 months in a young offenders' institution for GBH.
Other offences he has been convicted of include criminal damage, harassment, assaulting police officers, resisting arrest, common assault, threatening behaviour, witness intimidation, and possession of cannabis and heroin.
In October 2005 police were called out to a domestic incident involving Bainbridge, and he headbutted and bit an officer, Mr Earle said.
He was jailed for four months for the offence.
Defending, Jacqueline Appleton, said Bainbridge had faced a difficult upbringing, often living with his mother in womens' refuges and witnessing domestic violence against her.
She said: "The violence was often as a result of alcohol or drugs.
"In relation to this incident it was the content of the text messages the defendant said about in interview that were disclosed to him by her, and her actions towards the children and family dog that led to this.
"He joined the army at a young age and lost that job after the GBH offence, but he has had no significant sentence before nor used a weapon before, now this draws a line in the sand."
Judge Gareth Hawkesworth said: "You sent her a number of vile texts, you assaulted her and threatened her with a Stanley Knife.
"You should not react to what you regard as provocation - she is a woman and you do not behave in that way.
"It is perfectly clear from your record, you are a violent and angry man who poses, at the moment, a significant threat to others."
He was jailed for three years for possession of a bladed article, and four months each for assault and sending threatening text messages, but the sentences will run concurrently.
He was also placed under a new restraining order not to contact Miss Wallis via any means, unless through a lawyer or social services about child matters, or go within 50 metres of her.
The prosecution offered no evidence in connection with one charge of attempted kidnap, and a second assault.