Tue, 13 Nov 2018
A THATCHAM man has been jailed for an attack that scarred his ex-girlfriend for life.
Edward Lewis Rawlings, who has a history of domestic violence, was sent to prison for 18 months.
His latest victim, Lee Ann Brown, suffered nerve damage and permanent scarring after a glass was smashed into her face.
As a result, she may need plastic surgery in future, a judge heard.
Rawlings, who was living at Hartley Way, denied causing grievous bodily harm to Ms Brown at an address in Mount Road, Thatcham, on January 18.
During the trial, it became apparent that she could not be sure he had deliberately thrust the glass into her face.
Rawlings was therefore allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of causing actual bodily harm, on the basis he had recklessly flung it at her.
The court heard he had been jealous of her new relationship and that her children, who had been upstairs, had been traumatised by the savage attack on their mother and the gaping facial wound which resulted.
At a sentencing hearing at Reading Crown Court on Friday, she read from a victim impact statement she had prepared.
She told the court she was living in terror of Rawlings and constantly changed the route she walked her children to school.
Ms Brown said: “I’m fearful taking them to the park in case he’s there... I don’t answer the door... I’ve been sleeping downstairs because if someone comes through the front door I’m there and they won’t be able to get my kids.”
She told how she had needed stitches and had suffered nerve damage and scarring.
Ms Brown added: “My confidence is broken; I’m frightened of what he will do in the future. I’ll always have to live with the scar on my face.”
Rawlings has several previous convictions for domestic violence and in July a court heard how he tried to bite off another former partner’s £2,000 engagement ring in front of her screaming children.
Gavin Holme, defending, blamed Rawlings’ violence towards women on his upbringing and said: “He has a fear that he is turning into his father.
“He wants to do as much as he can to avoid that happening.
“He has seen first-hand from looking at his father where he will end up if he continues in this way.”
He pleaded with the court to allow his client to remain free by imposing a community punishment.
Judge Emma Nott told Rawlings: “You were jealous she had a new relationship and seemed happy. You behaved appallingly and threw a glass at her.
“You cut her face very badly... she may have to have plastic surgery to minimise the scarring.”
In addition, added Judge Nott, he had “utterly undermined her confidence in her ability to protect her children”.
She said the children had been traumatised and went on: “There is an established pattern of abusive and aggressive behaviour... you violated your last three intimate partners.”
Despite all that, said Judge Nott, she would have considered a community punishment, but for one thing.
After reading pre-sentence reports prepared on Rawlings, she told him: “You tried to belittle your victims and present them as unfaithful or promiscuous.
“You tried to besmirch their characters. You tried to do that with Ms Brown and I reject utterly what you say about her.
“It’s a means of continuing to abuse your victims. Unfortunately that attitude leads me to conclude that it wouldn’t be right in those circumstances to sentence you in the community. You may go down.”
Rawlings will serve half his 18-month sentence in prison before being released on licence.