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Man jailed after sustained assault on teenage girl

21-year-old given 18-week sentence for ‘heartbreaking’ attack

Chris Ord


01635 886639

A 21-year-old man from Newbury has been jailed for violently assaulting a teenage girl.

The girl, who was known to her attacker, was left mentally, physically and emotionally bruised by one sustained onslaught in particular which a judge called one of the most “troubling” battery cases he had heard.

Matthew Dudley, of Home Mead Close, Newbury, was sentenced last Wednesday to 18 weeks behind bars after being found guilty of two counts of assault.

Reading Magistrates Court heard how Dudley had launched a violent and sustained attack on his victim in Hambridge Road, Newbury, on May 3.

Prosecuting, Ngaa Zivuku told the court how Dudley had then left the teenager beaten and bruised on the side of the road after dragging her out of his car following the assault.

Miss Zivuku told how the victim was tended to by two passing cyclists before Dudley returned and convinced the Good Samaritans to leave her in his care.

It was, however, another brutal assault in front of a witness four weeks later that led to the police being contacted and Dudley’s arrest.

Sentencing, judge Shomon Khan said the description of the first attack was “heartbreaking” and had made the assault case, in his opinion, “non-standard”.

“I find it hard to think of a more troubling battery case,” he added.

In mitigation, solicitor Paul Cantrill told the court how Dudley had been making efforts to change his behaviour, including reducing his cannabis use, which he said may have played a part in his violent actions.

The defence said his client was also hoping to be able to care for his baby daughter and urged the judge to consider a non-custodial sentence with a rehabilitation order.

“Putting him in contact with violent and aggressive people, somewhere where drug use is rife, may not be of value for him,” he argued.

However, district judge Khan said: “The offences in my judgement cross the custodial threshold, there’s no doubt about it.

“May 3 is the most serious, one of the more concerning offences that I have had to deal with.

“She was a vulnerable victim and it was a violent, sustained attack.

“Perhaps if he had pleaded guilty I would have thought there was a realistic chance of rehabilitation, but looking at the report I’m not prepared to accept that that is the case.”

He sentenced Dudley to a total of 18 weeks behind bars and made him the subject of a five-year restraining order, prohibiting any contact with the victim.

He was also ordered to pay £150 victim surcharge.

Dudley has since appealed the conviction and his sentence.

A hearing for the appeal has been set for September 14.

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