A MAN who 'battered and abused' a pub landlady has been jailed.

Richard Norcross will spend at least a year behind bars after admitting to a series of attacks on Emma Smith, the licensee of the Swinging Witch in Northwich.

The 45-year-old appeared at Chester Crown Court on Monday (December 4) where judge Simon Berkson sentenced him to 27 months, of which he will have to serve half before being released on licence.

Judge Berkson said: “Over a period of several months you battered and abused Miss Smith on a number of occasions.

“You left Miss Smith a shadow of her former self.”

Prosecuting, Jayne Morris explained Norcross and Miss Smith’s relationship began in January.

She said Norcross, of Grange Road in Cuddington, was abusive throughout the relationship as he became 'paranoid and obsessed' with Miss Smith.

The first incident occurred on May 24 when Norcross punched the victim and caused an injury to her foot.

On June 2, the pair went for a night out in Blackpool and were on their way back to the hotel at around 1.15am.

Noticing Norcross was stumbling, Miss Smith walked on ahead and went to bed.

When Norcross arrived at the hotel he accused the victim of bringing another man back.

During this altercation he became 'extremely aggressive', pushing the victim, putting his hands around her neck and slapping her repeatedly, knocking a crown out of her tooth.

At this point Norcross was arrested and given bail conditions.

However, Miss Smith retracted her statement and began contact with the defendant again, with Norcross taking up work at the Swinging Witch.

On July 24, after drinking in the bar, Miss Smith took her dog for a walk and was followed by Norcross, who had a bag of cocaine in his possession.

When they returned to the pub he tried to take the dog before kicking a 'defenceless' Miss Smith as her back was to him.

The final incident occurred shortly before 1am on September 24.

Miss Smith had gone to change a barrel in the cellar when she was stopped by Norcross, breaching bail conditions, on her way back.

He shoved her against the wall of the cellar, grabbing her hair and 'ragging' her from side to side.

He punched Miss Smith several times and kept her in the cellar for 10 to 15 minutes, with the victim screaming for help.

Northwich Guardian: The Swinging Witch in Northwich town centreThe Swinging Witch in Northwich town centre (Image: Google Maps)

In a statement read out in court, Miss Smith said: “This was the most damaging ordeal anyone could ever imagine.

“Even though I know this person is behind bars, every noise makes me think it is him trying to get into the bar. I’m constantly looking over my shoulder.

“My confidence is completely gone, I will never get that back.

“He has taken a part of me away.”

Defending, Max Saffman said Norcross had no previous convictions and a good character witness from his wife, whom he split with at the end of last year.

He continued, explaining that Norcross’ mother died in October 2022 and his father the following February.

He also become homeless for the first time in his life and was out of the work, taking 'refuge' in the Swinging Witch where he was a regular.

“I ask the court to deal with this man with a degree of mercy,” said Mr Saffman.

“His behaviour during this period is completely out of character.

“Courts are well versed in dealing with people with a long history of violence but this is not one of those people.”

Judge Berkson also ordered an indefinite restraining order, prohibiting Norcross from entering the pub and certain areas of Northwich, without reason, upon his release.