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Theale man Michael Iles blames head injury for violent assault on girlfriend

A MAN battered his girlfriend when she woke him up from a drunken slumber, a court heard.

Victim Jaime Wells sustained bruising to her eye socket, rib cage and abdomen.

Reading Crown Court
Reading Crown Court

Last October her attacker, Michael Iles, pleaded guilty to committing an offence of assault causing actual bodily harm on June 22 last year.

Iles, who used to live in Newbury and now lives in Blossom Avenue, Theale, also has around 200 previous convictions.

Magistrates declined jurisdiction, in case their powers of punishment proved insufficient, and sent the matter to Reading Crown Court.

On Friday, March 22, he appeared for sentencing.

Letitia Egan, defending, told the court that her client accepted the prosecution’s version of events.

However, she added that he had sustained a head injury which could have affected his behaviour.

Judge Matthew Turner said: “If there’s to be mitigation that the injury earlier in the day had a significant effect on the way he was behaving, then I need to know.”

He said a pre-sentence report stated Iles claimed he had woken up “panicked and confused” and had lashed out instinctively.

Judge Turner added: “She says he was angry with her and, in drink, assaulted her.

“There’s a difference there, it seems to me.

“It may be that medical evidence shows he received an injury and was discharged later on that day but it needs to be considered carefully and it may well be he has to give evidence on that.”

Ms Egan said: “Medical evidence does describe some confusion but it’s not a detailed analysis as such.”

Judge Turner went on: “I understand he is saying that what happened earlier in the day had a significant effect on the way he reacted.

“The crown says he was violent and in drink.

“The defence say he has woken up, wasn’t thinking straight and lashed out in that confused state.

“Was it the drink or was it the injury?

“His state of mind needs to be resolved.”

Judge Turner announced a brief adjournment to allow Ms Egan to consult with Iles to determine whether he wished to advance the case that his head injury had a significant effect on his subsequent behaviour.

She then told the court: “We do rely on the head injury, therefore a Newton hearing will be necessary.”

A Newton hearing is a mini trial to determine the facts when a defendant has admitted an offence but on the basis of a different version to the prosecution’s, and when this would make a material difference to the sentence, depending on which version was believed.

Judge Turner said: “Mr Iles will say his culpability is reduced because of a head injury sustained earlier in the day.”

He adjourned sentencing in order for a Newton hearing to be scheduled on a later date.

Iles was meanwhile remanded in custody.

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