Boy, 11, left terrified after dad attacks mum in bath for leaving plate in sink

A mum was brutally attacked in the bath by her partner, with their terrified 11-year-old son calling 999, a court heard.

The victim returned home from her job as a staff nurse, cooked some food and gone to have a bath, leaving a plate in the sink.

Violent Hlalisekani Hlabangana, 44, flew into a rage and burst into the bathroom after seeing the plate, punching her 20 times as he yelled: “Next time you can leave the sink clean, b****.”

The blows struck her face and arms, leaving her badly bruised and traumatised.

During the attack at the family home in Leicester, the woman shouted for the couple’s 11-year-old son who phoned the police.

At Leicester Magistrates’ Court on Friday Hlabangana pleaded guilty to assault by beating.

Prosecutor Kate Harrison told the court both the woman and her son were now receiving counselling for the trauma they suffered after the incident on February 26 this year.

She said: “Her body ached for over two weeks and she had to have pain medication.

“This has left her scared at all times. Whenever she sees a car like the defendant’s she panics and starts having heart palpitations.

“She has had nightmares where he is attacking her. Her kids have a lot of questions and her daughter asks if her old scars were caused by her dad.

“She is scared to go out in case she sees him. She thinks he is going to come back and ambush her and she has changed the locks on the door.

“She finds herself crying most of the time. She thought she was going to die in the bathtub that day.”

David Rhodes, representing Hlabangana, told the court: “It was not acceptable what he did and he knows that. And she has received a message telling her as much.

“He has lost his family, he is concerned about his children and how the whole thing has affected them. The incident has brought him shame and embarrassment.

“This is a family of churchgoes and he, spiritually, has to look at his actions and try to reconcile that with his beliefs.”

He added that his client also worked in the caring profession and was likely to lose his job because of the attack.

The chair of the bench of magistrates, Annette Cooper, told Hlabangana: “We consider this to be a very serious assault.

“It took place at home, the victim was in a very vulnerable position and there were young children present.

“The attack was sustained and it was aimed at her head area. Your actions have clearly crossed the custody threshold.”

Hlabangana was given an 18-week sentence, suspended for 24 months.

During the next two years he will have to attend a Building Better Relationships course, spend a further 15 days with the probation service and will also be banned from contacting his former partner during the next two years.

He was also ordered to pay the woman £200 compensation and the court £85 court costs and a £128 victim surcharge.