Thug beat up his girlfriend in front of five-year-old daughter
A THUG with a history of domestic violence who beat up his girlfriend in front of their five-yearold daughter has escaped an immediate prison sentence.
Warren Lee, 26, was told he thoroughly deserved to go to jail for inflicting head injuries upon Kelly Martin during a row at their home in Ashford in April.
Maidstone Crown Court heard that the attack was one of several Miss Martin has suffered in the past at the hands of Lee.
The couple had been together for eight years and on the day of the assault had been drinking with friends at their home. Lee told police he’d had eight cans of lager and nothing to eat.
Martin Yale, prosecuting, said guests at the party became uncomfortable and started to leave when Lee and Miss Martin started play-fighting.
Violence eventually erupted once the couple were alone with their daughter. The couple began to argue and Lee hit Miss Martin and he fled the flat.
A neighbour heard a smash and could hear the little girl repeatedly calling “Mummy”. Miss Martin told police her face was throbbing, realised she was bleeding heavily and could not see out of one of her eyes.
Lee also had cuts to his head and blood over his hands. He went to another neighbour, and was joined by his daughter. “She was in her nightdress, screaming, crying and clearly upset,” said Mr Yale.
Lee told the neighbour “it kicked off” between him and Miss Martin and claimed she had smashed a glass.
Miss Martin suffered a 5cm cut to her head, a 2cm cut to her lower eyelid and a 1cm cut on her chin.
The couple are no longer together.
The court heard she suffers sharp pains in her wounds and believes fragments of glass may still be embedded.
Judge Jeremy Gold said he found the fact Lee had only been cautioned in the past as “quite astonishing”, but he said he was prepared “with a degree of hesitation” to impose a suspended sentence.
The judge had interrupted the case as the Mr Yale outlined Lee’s numerous cautions for violence, dating back to 1997 and all relating to Miss Martin.
These include two for common assault and one for assault causing actual bodily harm.
“Little surprises me these days but one cannot help but stop and think as to why this man has been cautioned so many times for domestic violence,” he remarked, “when intervention a little ear- lier could have prevented the case I am dealing with today. Quite astonishing.
“This is absolutely the last chance for you.”
Mr Yale said Miss Martin was repeatedly punched in the face by Lee in September 2003, and punched and kicked several times in April 2007.
Lee, of Cheltenham Close, Senacre, Maidstone, admitted wounding and was sentenced to nine months suspended for two years.
He must also undergo the Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme, which would also address Lee’s alcohol abuse.
Alice Dobbie, defending, said the unemployed distribution centre worker had sought counselling.
She added that the court could be “cautiously optimistic” about his future.