Pittsfield man gets 18 months for punching woman


PITTSFIELD -- A city man recently acquitted of a string of break-ins has been sentenced to nine months in jail for allegedly punching a woman and kicking her teenage daughter.

Timothy W. Welch, 45, of First Street, pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts each of assault and battery and violating an abuse prevention order.

On Feb. 5, Welch punched a 46-year-old woman in the ear, causing a laceration, after she refused to kiss him on the lips, according to Pittsfield Police. When the woman's 16-year-old daughter tried to intervene, he pushed her to the ground and kicked her.

Welch had been living in a spare room in the woman's home and paying her rent month-to-month.

He allegedly told police the woman had said she would marry him and then retracted the offer. Welch admitted pushing her into a wall, but not punching her.

"He clearly believed they were in a romantic relationship," his attorney William A. Rota told the court on Friday.

Earlier this month Welch was charged with violating abuse prevention orders by coming to the residence of the mother and daughter. He didn't speak to them and ran away when they came outside, according to a police report.

Rota said Welch had gone there to apologize.

In court, Welch said he wanted to put this behind him.

Rota asked the court to sentence his client to time served -- 72 days -- on the assault and battery case and 30 days on-and-after for the violations.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Daniel Hespeler cited the nature of the case and the defendant's 10-page criminal record as reasons for the 18 month jail sentence he was seeking in both cases.

The woman, through a Spanish language interpreter, said she had considered Welch a friend and that he hurt her very badly. She said she was finding it hard to forgive him.

She wept as she told the court about the incident.

Judge Fredric D. Rutberg gave Welch time served on the assault and battery case and 18 months on-and-after with 90 days to be served and the rest of the time suspended for a year during which time he is to have no contact with the victims.

Last month, Welch was found not guilty by a Berkshire Superior Court jury of breaking and entering and larceny charges related to a string of Lenox break-ins from February.

On the night of Feb. 19, seven businesses in downtown Lenox had been broken into or had been the victims of attempted break-ins. Welch was only on trial for three of the breaks, which included a coffee shop, a dentist's office and a sandwich shop.

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