Thug beat up his girl­friend in front of five-year-old daugh­ter

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

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.

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