A "nasty and violent abuser" who assaulted a woman and a teenager on the Isle of Wight, forcing them to take refuge in their own home, has been jailed.

Robert Church, formerly of Ranelagh Road, Lake, and now of no fixed address, appeared at the Isle of Wight Crown Court on Friday, March 8.

On January 23, the 35-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and four counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He had previously denied the offences but changed his plea on the day of his trial.

The charges relate to two incidents at the same address in Ryde.

At around 4am on the morning of July 7, 2023, a woman and a teenage girl were woken by the sound of loud banging at the front door. Church forced his way in by kicking the door off its hinges.

Once inside, he pinned the woman down and wiped the contents of the kitchen draining board on the floor, Tim Devlin, prosecuting, said.

The woman pacified him with £25, but he later returned and assaulted the teenager.

On another occasion, at around 3am on October 1, 2023, Church visited the property again. 

Mr Devlin said the teenager told Church he should not be there and in retaliation, he punched her in the face, cutting her lip.

After being locked in the hallway, he turned the house upside down, court heard, while the pair took refuge in a bedroom and called police.

Jim Osborne, defending, told the court Church "deeply regrets" his actions.

Mr Osborne said there is a common factor behind his client's offending and that is alcohol.

He said Church, who has 26 previous convictions for 65 offences, is determined to address the fact that he drinks too much.

Judge David Melville said Church "caused disaster twice in a matter of months" and his offending, in the middle of the night, was "very serious".

He sentenced him to a total of 36 months in prison.

After his conviction in January, DC Ashlea Butt, from Hampshire and IW Constabulary, said: “Church is a nasty and violent abuser of women and girls who has now been brought to justice for this terrible pattern of offending.

“The bravery of the victims has resulted in a dangerous man being removed from the streets and remanded into custody."

Isle of Wight County Press: Robert ChurchRobert Church (Image: Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary)