Published: 00:01, 12 September 2017 |
The victim had been to the cinema at Bluewater on August 26 last year and was driving home in the evening in her Mini towards Grain when she was cut up by another Mini driven by Kieron Butler, forcing her to brake and stop.
She saw that it was her ex, with whom she had been in a relationship for about a year, but had ended a year before.
Butler, who was previously convicted of road rage offences in which he squirted ketchup at victims, told her he would smash her car if she did not speak to him.
Prosecutor Craig Evans said the woman thought about driving off but feared Butler, 24, would cause a crash.
She pulled into lay-by with her doors locked and he stopped behind her. He demanded she unlock the door.
“Although he was clearly annoyed, she did so as she thought he would have a rant at her and leave,” Mr Evans told Maidstone Crown Court.
“Instead, he got inside the vehicle and took hold of her clothing.
“He was shouting at her, calling her names.
“Without provocation, he then headbutted her to the side of her head, cutting her just above her eyebrow. The blow left her dazed.”
"On any view this must have been a traumatic and terrifying ordeal" - Judge David Griffith-Jones
He pushed her into the passenger seat. She tried to get out but he grabbed her, pulled her back in and punched her in the stomach before driving her off in her car for about five minutes.
He also took her mobile phone to see who she had been contacting, messaged people back and also asked why she did not want to be with him.
“She had not asked to go there, nor did she want to be there, but she estimates they were there for some 45 minutes.”
He eventually drove back to his car and left. The victim needed her eye injury stitched.
The father-to-be, of St George’s Crescent, Gravesend, was arrested three days later in London Road, Northfleet.
He gave a prepared statement in which he claimed he had not seen the victim since August 14 last year and gave an alibi he was with a friend on August 27.
But police checked automatic number plate recognition cameras and found that his Mini Cooper was in Wainscott, Hoo and Northfleet at the relevant times.
Butler denied kidnap and assault causing actual bodily harm but was convicted. He was jailed for three years and two months.
Mr Evans said Butler had 16 previous court appearances for 29 offences, including criminal damage, dishonesty, motoring offences and breaching a restraining order.
Ben Irwin, defending, said Butler had suffered from anxiety and depression and had a troubled family history. He studied plumbing at college.
Butler was a full-time carer for his mother, with whom he had a strong relationship.
“His conviction will have a heavy toll on her,” said Mr Irwin.
“He will have to come to terms with that.
“He was due to start work as a road traffic operative. He has formed a new relationship. She is pregnant with his first child.”
Butler avoided jail in July last year for two offences of battery in which he squirted tomato sauce at victims in bizarre road rage incidents.
He sprayed the ketchup at another driver and a teenage cyclist.
Butler was ordered to do 220 hours unpaid work and pay his victims £75 each compensation for their “degradation”.
One of the incidents was in Collier Road in Northfleet in August 2014 and the other in Valley Drive, Gravesend, just over a week later.
Judge David Griffith-Jones QC said the evidence against Butler was compelling.
“You were aggrieved that she no longer wanted anything to do with you,” he said.
“Your actions that night were extreme and unforgivable.
“When you were done, you drove back to where you had left your car, got in and drove away, leaving her alone and upset and bleeding from her wound.
“On any view this must have been a traumatic and terrifying ordeal.”
The judge said Butler tried to get a friend to give him an alibi and had “teed him up” before his arrest.
“Your attempts to pull the wool over the jury’s eyes didn’t succeed,” he said.
“They were not fooled. Your victim was particularly vulnerable. You chose to use your head as a weapon.
“This incident was plainly planned. I have no doubt you went to some effort to seek her out. The fact you have been suffering from depression provides no excuse.
“There is frankly no mitigation. A sentence of immediate imprisonment is demanded.
"It seems to me a sentence of some length is demanded.”
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