One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Man Jailed For Attacking Girlfriend
Drunken Shaun Callan punched his girlfriend to the ground and then kicked her like a football, causing a fractured skull, broken jaw and a cut above her eye.
The attack on 19-year-old Jade Worts in Watford town centre left her needing plastic surgery.
Jailing Callan, 27, for 7 years today/Tuesday, Judge Richard Foster described the attack as "cowardly, vicious and horrific."
Opening the case at Luton crown court, prosecutor Claudette Elliott said the couple had been in a relationship for 5 months. On the day of the assault Jade Worts, who is now 20, left for work at a care home without taking her house keys.
She contacted Callan, a ground worker, and they agreed to go out drinking in Watford town centre, ending up in the Travel Lodge.
Ms Worts set up a bar tab at the Travel Lodge and continued drinking. "They were arguing with each other and then would be hugging and kissing. The defendant argued with another customer and picked up a knife and fork and threatened him," said Ms Elliott.
A member of staff became suspicious thinking they were not going to pay and at around 9pm the couple slipped out of the hotel.
In the street, Ms Wort was heard to shout out: "It is over Shaun." Callan was then seen to turn and punch her to the left side of the face with a right hook. She fell to the ground where, said Ms Elliott, he swung his foot back like a footballer and kicked her in the top half of her body.
One witness described what he saw as: "Sickening, vicious and brutal." Callan was heard to call her a "Stupid cow" or "Stupid bitch" and say "So you want to finish with me?" before running off.
Members of the public went to Ms Wort's aid. She cannot remember anything until she woke up in hospital.
Callan was arrested the next day sleeping under a blanket in a transit van, parked at his brother's home. In a prepared statement he told the police he had no intention to cause the victim any harm.
Callan of Gladstone Road, Watford pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial to causing grievous bodily harm with intent on 25 July last year. He had previous convictions for what the judge said was petty violence and disorderly behaviour. He was in breach of a Community Order for criminal damage and assault passed a month before the attack.
Defence barrister Richard Storey handed the judge a letter from Callan and one from the Catholic Chaplain at Bedford prison. He said Callan was disgusted with himself. On the day he had drunk a lot of alcohol and could not remember what had happened.
"All of his offences occur when he is under the influence of drink and he has sought help whilst in prison."
Mr Storey went on: "He accepts responsibility for what happened and does not blame the victim. Their tempestuous relationship is now at an end."
Callan, who was wearing a shirt and tie in the dock, nodded as the judge told him: "You must be thoroughly ashamed of yourself."
The judge said: "You lashed out and when she was on the ground, with your shod feet, you laid into her."
He passed a Restraining Order which means that he cannot contact Jade Wort or go near her home in Curtis Drive, Watford.
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