A former Peterborough Phantoms ice hockey star has been sent to prison for 21 months after assaulting his partner in a drunken attack.
Lithuanian international Darius Lelenas, who scored 32 goals for Phantoms in the 2010-11 season as well as representing his nation in world championship matches, held his head in his hands as he was lead away to jail.
Lelenas (32) had admitted causing grievous bodily harm to his partner of 12 years after an incident in Cobden Street on May 22.
Cheryl Williams, prosecuting said: “The victim is 28-years-old and the couple had been in a relationship for 12 years. There had been previous incidents of domestic violence.
“On the evening Lelenas’ partner came home about 10pm. There was no lead up to what happened. He came out of the bathroom as she was walking towards him. Without provocation he drew back his hand and punched her in the face.”
Charles Falk, defending, appealed for a suspended sentence, saying Lelenas was a household name in Lithuania, and was hopeful of playing for the Phantoms again or starting a coaching career.
Mr Falk said Lelenas had been drinking at the time of the assault - and as an athlete who drank rarely, he did not have a high tolerance of alcohol, which is why he lost control.
But Recorder Christopher Morgan, sentencing, said: “There is little doubt with your experience as an ice hockey player you will understand the pain you caused your partner.”
Lelenas, of Timber Bank, Cheltenham, Kent, was also handed a restraining order, preventing contact with his former partner for five years.