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Man jailed over cowardly attack on girlfriend
5:30am Thursday 12th December 2013 in News
A MAN out celebrating his birthday left his girlfriend with a fractured skull when he pushed her over in a cowardly attack outside a pub.
Drunk James Webdell flew into a rage because she didn’t want him to go home with her, shoving her with such force she tumbled over, smashing her head on the kerb.
And as his stricken partner lay seriously injured, the unsympathetic 24-year-old tried to pull her to her feet telling her to ‘stop acting like a spastic’.
Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court he had been in a relationship with Charlene Edwards for about four years, though they didn’t live together.
During that time she said the police had been called to arguments between them four times and he had been arrested on three of those occasions.
On June 25 this year she said the couple had gone out drinking with a mutual friend to celebrate Webdell’s birthday.
But when they went to get a taxi outside the Steam Railway, in Old Town, at the end of the night they started to argue as Miss Edwards said she was going home alone.
Webdell was shouting and swearing at her and then shoved her, with what the cabbie called a ‘ferocious push’, and she fell on her back hitting her head.
Miss Edwards was taken to hospital where she was found to have a fracture to the back of her skull, which has healed.
The court was told that the victim was standing by the defendant and had withdrawn her support for the prosecution.
However the Crown proceeded with the case, relying on the evidence of the independent witnesses.
Webdell, of Torun Way, Haydon End, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.
Martin Wiggins, defending, said his client was strongly motivated to change his ways and was sorry for what he had done.
While in custody on remand the couple had corresponded and were due to start a relationship counselling course.
Mr Wiggins said: “He is committed to his partner and she to him. He acknowledges she should not at any time be put at any risk because of his inability to manage his alcohol misuse, which is clearly what it had become.”
Jailing him for 18 months, Judge Tim Mousley QC said: “I am satisfied on this occasion you were told you were not going home with your partner and that was all it took to set you off, and what you did afterwards was cowardly.
“The outcome was serious. Criminal courts hear cases on a regular basis of people who die after being pushed over and hitting their heads on the ground.
“An independent witness was shocked at the force of the push and after you pushed her to the ground in that way you were abusive towards her.”
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