A Birmingham man who slapped his partner in a hotel lobby has been fined.

Lamar Burris, 24, of Selcroft Avenue, was found guilty in his absence by Bristol magistrates earlier this month – then picked up on a warrant and put before Swindon Magistrates’ Court today.

The West Midlands man had denied assaulting a woman in the lobby of a central Bristol Travelodge on September 4 last year.

Prosecutor Emma Charleton told Swindon JPs Burris and his partner had checked into the hotel on August 31.

Five days later, a member of hotel staff overheard them arguing first at the rear of the hotel. He heard Burris tell the woman: “What are you still doing here? What are you going to do about it?”

The couple walked into the hotel and towards the lifts. Burris was said to have stood over his partner as she cowered in a corner. He raised his hand and hit her in the face.

The hotel staff member said he was calling the police. The defendant replied: “Call them, I don’t care.”

The victim told police nothing had happened and she wouldn’t give a statement.

At the time of the attack, Burris was subject to a suspended sentence imposed in January 2020 for aggravated vehicle taking.

Liz Highams, mitigating, said her client had skipped the trial in error. “He had a number of things going on at the beginning of January; dates by which he had to get his CSCS card [enabling him to work on construction sites], dates by which he had to do a construction test and he simply got his dates mixed up.” He did not intend to reopen the case and contest the charge.

Burris admitted failing to surrender to the court.

Magistrates fined him £160 and ordered he pay £141 in costs and surcharge.