A NORTH Yorkshire man has been convicted of assaulting his lover of five years by punching her in the head four times.

Christopher Brown, 45, of Middlecave Drive, Malton, was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after a two-day trial at York Crown Court.

The jury took a little over an hour to reach their unanimous verdict after hearing evidence from Brown, his victim Yvonne Watkins, another woman and a police officer.

The court heard that Mrs Watkins, who had had a five-year-long secret affair with Brown, went back to his house with another woman after a night drinking in November 2012.

There, she fell asleep on the sofa only to be awoken when Brown arrived home and started to hit her and drag her out of his home.

Prosecutor Ben Campbell told the jury Mrs Watkins had said she was terrified and hid in the bushes outside the house.

Mr Campbell added that Mrs Watkins could have said any number of things to explain her injuries, but reported the assault and thus threw away any chance of keeping the affair secret from her husband.

The court heard that immediately after the assault, Mrs Watkins’ friend came downstairs from the spare bedroom where she had been sleeping and left the house.

While she was standing outside Brown’s house he warned her that if they called the police, he would tell Mrs Watkins’ husband about their affair.

In his evidence, Brown said: “If they were going to cause me trouble, I was going to end their playtime.”

Brown, a builder, denied the charge, saying he had given Mrs Watkins “a clip around the ear and the side of my boot to her backside” as he marched her out of his house, but did not cause her injuries.

After the verdict Recorder Michelle Heeley said Brown should not be under any illusions about the sentence he would receive, and adjourned the case until Wednesday, February 26 for reports to be prepared.