Ex smashes way into house and punches victim
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.