Thug Tommy Ellis walks free after threatening to kill girlfriend on Canterbury's city wall
Canterbury city wall,
where the attack happened. Library picture
by Paul Hooper
Drunken thug Tommy Ellis punched his girlfriend so hard on
Canterbury's city wall, the thud was heard by police 20 metres
The 20-year-old bully spat at Joanne Henson, grabbed her throat
before attempting to throw her over the wall.
Amazingly, as officers ran to her aid fearing she would be
hurled down the 20 foot drop, she turned on THEM - claiming she and
her lover had been "play fighting".
But CCTV footage revealed a sustained assault in which she was
pushed backwards over the wall with the lout shouting: 'I'm
going to kill you!"
And, as a judge decided whether or not to jail Ellis for the
attack, Ms Henson– who had been described by her boyfriend as "a
disgusting skank" – paced nervously outside court
seven at Canterbury Crown Court.
The CPS barrister had earlier revealed how she had refused
help in the prosecution of Ellis, of South Street, Canterbury, for
When told that Ellis had escaped with a suspended
sentence, Ms Henson smiled and then hugged her boyfriend
as he left court.
Prosecutor James Ross told how the attack happened in December
last year when Ellis was seen to punch his victim, with whom he had
been in "an intimate" relationship for a number of years.
"He grabbed her by the hair and by the throat. He was pushing
her, shouting in her ear. He then picked her up as if to tip her
over the city wall."
Canterbury Crown, where
Ellis's case was heard
A witness later told police he heard a man threatening to kill
the girl and throw her off the bridge.
He called her a "skank" and "disgusting".
The witness added: "She ran after him. She was clearly drunk and
struggling with her heels and crying. He then slapped her really
hard across the face. Her whole body moved with the force.
"I saw the male pull her hair down and bend her down over the
railings. He then hit her some more."
PC Christopher Burnham revealed in his statement how, as he
walked along the wall past the obelisk, he spotted Ellis "pull back
his right fist and punch a blonde-haired female square in the
He and his colleague were 20 metres away "yet the sound of the
blow connecting with the female’s face was audible", he said.
As the officer produced pepper spray to tackle the raging Ellis,
the attacker stepped back and offered his hands to be arrested.
It was then that Ms Henson said: "What for... play fighting?",
the court heard.
Mr Ross said: "The blonde female began screaming at the police
and has refused any co-operation with the authorities
Ellis committed the shocking attack in breach on another
suspended prison sentence for having an axe in public. Ellis also
admitted a charge of theft.
Philip Rowley, defending, claimed Ellis suffered from ADHD and
had anger management issues.
Ellis was given a four-month jail sentence suspended for two
years, ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work. He was also told to
pay £80 compensation for stealing a washing machine.
The judge, Recorder Vincent Moran QC ruled that Ellis be
electronically tagged and remain at his home between 8pm and 6am
for the next six months.
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