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Former Newmarket estate agent jailed after 'cruel, manipulative, calculated and violent' attack on partner





A former Newmarket estate agent has been jailed after attacking and attempting to smother his partner in an assault described by a judge as cruel, manipulative, calculated and violent.

Jailing Frank Smart for 28 months for assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Ipswich Crown Court today, Judge Emma Peters said: “Your actions were cruel, manipulative, calculated and violent, with hate-filled ranting and blaming of Miss Danielle Minns for everything, which is classic domestic abuser behaviour.

“Your behaviour that night was you overbearing her will and doing what you want.”

Frank Smart.
Frank Smart.

During the trial, which began in November before being adjourned, due to the judge having to self isolate for two weeks, jurors heard how Smart had let himself into the Kennett house where his partner, Miss Minns, lived with the couple’s three children, in the early hit her, pulled her hair, threatened her with a knife and repeatedly attemped to force a pillow over her face as she lay in bed.

In 2019, Smart, 46 and of Bannold Drove in Waterbeach, pleaded guilty to sending malicious communications via text message in the days leading up to and immediately after the assault.

On the resumption of the trial, two weeks after its adjournment, Smart pleaded guilty a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, with two charges of threats to kill and assault by beating being dropped.

Defence counsel Jude Durr cited his client’s remorse, previous good character and guilty plea in mitigation, but Judge Peters deemed the offence as serious enough to warrant a custodial sentence.

Miss Minns did not attend the sentencing hearing, which also included a 10-year restraining order prohibiting Smart from contacting Miss Minns or visiting her address other than to arrange child contact.