Man jailed for pouring bleach over girlfriend - Kings Langley


A man, who poured bleach over his girlfriend's head in Kings Langley after accusing her of cheating on him, was sentenced to three years in custody today, Tuesday, 10 March 2015.

Benjamin Lewis, aged 20, from Portishead, Bristol, launched an attack on Abigail Hawthorne 'out of the blue' after they had been out drinking. When they returned to their home in Common Wood, Kings Langley, he pinned her on the bed and punched and slapped her face, St Albans Crown Court heard.

She locked herself in the bathroom, but he put a lighter under the door, which was four inches from the ground, and said: "You won't get out alive. You will burn to death. I will kill you. I will kill your family," said prosecutor Edward Lewis.

Using her mobile, she dialled 999 and tried to leave, but Lewis then poured the bleach over her head. The phone operator could hear her shout: "Please stop. It is in my eye." Lewis himself took over the phone and said: "I have poured bleach all over her."

Abigail managed to run to a nearby pub and raised the alarm. She suffered stinging and blurred vision as well as scratches and bruising to the arms and thigh.

He was in court three days later for breaching a Community Order and received a 6 week sentence. When he was released on 16 October, Lewis contacted Abigail on Facebook. She was staying in St Ives in Cornwall with her sister, who has two young children. Lewis told her: "Your sister owes me £1500. You have two days or I will burn her house down."

Lewis, of Moorgate, Portishead, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm (ABH) on 23 September last year. He also admitted making threats to kill her on 23 September and making threats to kill her sister on 16 October last year. He had 8 previous convictions for 7 offences, including an assault on his mother in 2009 and another assault on his mother and brother in January 2011 when he ran down the stairs with a large kitchen knife.

Katie Jenkins, defending, said that much of what happened was hazy in Lewis' mind as he was under the influence of alcohol. "He says his behaviour was disgusting. He has had four months in custody to consider what happened that night. That has been a shock to his system." She said he was still only 20-years-old and had work lined up in the kitchen of the Brewers Fayre in Portishead.

Judge Marie Catterson sentenced him to 12 months for the ABH with 2 years consecutive for making threats to kill. She said: "It was a sustained assault on Abigail.  You used bleach - a particularly nasty weapon." The judge also made a restraining order banning him from contacting Abigail or her sister by any means and banned him from entering Cornwall for an indefinite period.

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