Ex smashes way into house and punches vic­tim

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Remember When? -

A THUG who beat his for­mer girl­friend within days of be­ing re­leased from prison for a pre­vi­ous at­tack on her has been jailed for 18 months.

Judge Martin Joy, sit­ting at Maid­stone Crown Court last Fri­day, told fa­ther-of-two Raighan Hart­ley he had used “gra­tu­itous and planned vi­o­lence” on a vul­ner­a­ble woman.

The court heard on April 16, He­len Flana­gan was at home watch­ing TV when Hart­ley burst into her liv­ing room and punched her re­peat­edly in the face.

He then threat­ened her he would re­turn if she re­ported the at­tack to the po­lice.

Hart­ley, 34, of Nor­wood Street, Ash­ford, had de­nied as­sault­ing Miss Flana­gan, caus­ing her ac­tual bod­ily harm, dur­ing a trial last month but was con­victed by a jury.

The court heard in Fe­bru­ary he had been jailed for 120 days for an of­fence of com­mon as­sault on Miss Flana­gan.

On that oc­ca­sion in De­cem­ber last year the cou­ple started row­ing af­ter Miss Flana­gan be­came up­set about her mother, who was dy­ing from a ter­mi­nal ill­ness.

Hart­ley, who had been drink­ing, sat astride Miss Flana­gan, pin­ning her arms and slapped and punched her in the face.

Pass­ing sen­tence for the as­sault in April, Judge Joy said Hart­ley had been con­victed on “clear and over­whelm­ing” ev­i­dence.

He added that Hart­ley’s claim that Miss Flana­gan was a liar had been re­jected by the jury.

Judge Joy added: “You got into her house while she was watch­ing tele­vi­sion and un­aware.

“You smashed the lounge door and at­tacked her.

“You held her chin forcibly and you then, quite clearly, used sev­eral full punches to her face.

“You had, prior to us­ing the vio- lence, threat­ened to do just what you did. You then threat­ened her that if she told the po­lice you would be back.

“This is a very se­ri­ous of­fence. You have pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions for vi­o­lence and, in par­tic­u­lar, have at­tacked Miss Flana­gan in the past.”

Miss Flana­gan made a vic­tim per­sonal state­ment but it was not read out in court.

But Judge Joy said the at­tack, and Hart­ley’s gen­eral treat­ment of her, had had “some con­sid­er­able ef­fect”.

He con­tin­ued: “This was a par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble woman and there was quite gra­tu­itous and planned vi­o­lence.”

Hart­ley, who worked as a roofer, has al­ready served 179 days on re­mand.

Puneet Rai, de­fend­ing, said that while in cus­tody Hart­ley had “made good progress”.

She added that Miss Flana­gan had suf­fered mi­nor, non-per­ma­nent in­juries.

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