Man jailed for beating up girlfriend - Hemel Hempstead

17/06/2015

A Hemel Hempstead man, who beat up his girlfriend on New Year's Eve days after finding a condom packet under her bed, was jailed for 27 months today, Wednesday, 17 June 2015.

Richard Barlow, aged 44, attacked Alicia Webb, calling her a prostitute and a whore, St Albans Crown Court heard.

Giving evidence behind a screen, Ms Webb told the jury of 7 women and 5 men that they had been in a relationship for 6 months. She said she dropped an earlier case of assault on her by him because she thought he would change.

On 22 December, Barlow moved back into her flat in St Albans Road, having served a prison term for assaulting his daughter. After he discovered the empty condom packet under her bed, she said they argued. "He was calling me a druggie and said I was sleeping with other people. He just kept going on at me about the condom under the bed," she said.

At around 7.30 on New Year's Eve, she said she was sitting on her bed he continued to go on about the condom packet. She said: "He started punching me in the face. He kept telling me I was lying and I said I wasn't. He had a clenched fist and hit me about the face. Blood was coming out of my mouth. He was kicking me and calling me a dirty prostitute druggy whore."

Ms Webb, who said she had drunk brandy and coke and vodka and coke during the day, said she got into her bathroom before running out into the street, passing a neighbour, who called the police. She went on: "He followed me out and started punching and kicking me and he put his fingers in my eyes. I was on the ground. He said I was a dirty prostitute whore and he was going to kill me."

The police arrived and the assault stopped. Barlow was arrested and interviewed. He told the police he had not assaulted her in the flat and that she had fallen down outside.

Prosecutor Kevin West showed the jury injuries and swellings that were still visible to her face three weeks after the attack.

Barlow, previously of St Albans Road, Hemel, was convicted of causing actual bodily harm on 31 December last year.  He had previous offences for wounding with intent, ABH, wounding and battery. He had been released from prison on 22 December after being sentenced to four weeks for battery on his daughter.

Andrew Campbell, defending, said Barlow had been making good use of his time on remand in Bedford prison, gaining an array of certificates. On his release he said he plans to leave Hemel and move to Luton. "His aim is to keep away from alcohol and drugs and get out of the system."

Judge Andrew Bright QC told Barlow: "You are a danger to the women with whom you form a relationship. This was an horrific assault on a defenceless woman. You hit her until she was black and blue and kicked her and poked her in the eyes."

The judge made a restraining order banning Barlow from ever contacting Ms Webb and from going to the flats where she lives.

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