Devon

Man partially blinds girlfriend's mum

Exeter Crown Court
Image caption Dale Norman appeared at Exeter Crown Court on Friday

A man has admitted a "shocking" attack on his girlfriend's mother which left her blind in one eye.

Dale Norman, 40, deliberately thrust his finger into Theresa Graham's eye during an argument at a house in Paignton on 22 April.

At Exeter Crown Court on Friday he admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent in relation to the attack.

Adjourning the case for sentence, Judge Erik Salomonsen told the Teignmouth man to expect a "lengthy prison sentence".

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The court heard Ms Graham lost the sight in one eye as a result of the attack.

'Shocking'

Judge Salomonsen ordered the probation service to assess whether Norman posed a risk to the public and should be classified as a dangerous offender.

He said: "These courts see many shocking offences but this is a particularly shocking case."

He said the event was clearly "extremely distressing" for all involved, and added that they would want "to draw a line under it as soon as possible."

Judge Salomonsen added: "There is no doubt you will receive a lengthy prison sentence. The length of that sentence will depend on everything the judge sees, hears or reads."

Gordon Richings, prosecuting, said two further charges of common assault on other people who had tried to intervene were likely to be dropped in the light of Norman's plea to the most serious charge.

Heather Hope, defending, said she planned to put material before the court at the next hearing that would mitigate the sentence.

Norman was remanded in custody to appear before the court for sentence on 2 August.

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