‘I’m lucky to be alive’

Cath Berry
Cath Berry

A MUM-of-two lucky believes she is to be alive after being smashed in the face with a car jack.

Cath Berry believes that had not a witness intervened after just one savage blow to the head, Michael Ineson may well have killed her.

Ineson, who also injured his partner Lisa Kennedy in a jealous, drunken rage, was this week jailed for 15 months.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the 33-year-old from Chestnut Grove, Ashton, repeatedly punched both terrified women during the frenzied attack in Haydock about the head before stricking mother-of-two Cath with the blunt instrument. When a witness arrived, Ineson fled in Cath’s Vauxhall Corsa.

The hearing was told he suffers from depression and has no previous convictions. His defence added that Ineson’s employer of the last 18 years held him in such high regard that he has paid for therapy at the famous Priory clinic.

But Cath has had no such assistance. The terrible bruising and swelling have faded but she says she is still suffering inside.

At home in Ashton she added: “That day in December has changed me as a person. I used to be very outgoing but I have not been out socialising since. I just haven’t got the confidence back and didn’t even celebrate my 30th birthday recently.”

Ineson had pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm, common assault, taking a Vauxhall Corsa without consent, driving with excess alcohol and without insurance.

Iain Criddle, prosecuting, said Ineson had been in a four-month relationship with Lisa but they were splitting up because of his increasingly erratic behaviour.

On December 28 the couple were out drinking in Ashton town centre along with his friend, Paul, and Lisa’s friend Cath. He started accusing Lisa of having a relationship with Paul and they went their separate ways.

At 2am Ineson went round to Lisa’s home in Newton-le-Willows and she could see he had been self-harming by stubbing a cigarette out on his arm.

Concerned for his behaviour, she rang Cath to come round. After she arrived Ineson lunged or fell towards them both while holding a knife and they decided to leave, said Mr Criddle.

The two women got into Cath’s car with Lisa with the front passenger seat but as they set off Ineson jumped in the back. During the journey he began pulling at Lisa’s hair from behind and Cath stopped the car outside the Thistle Hotel in Haydock and the two women tried to get the unwanted passenger out of the vehicle.

While the two women were on the ground he repeatedly punched them on their heads. He then stopped and went to the car boot and took out a jack and hit Cath across the face with it.

He fled in the car but police called at his home at 5am and when Martin Pizzey, defending, said that Ineson “could not offer any excuse or motivation but he was in a particularly low place.”