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Home Malling News Article
A thug who ripped off his wife's ponytail after he taunted her about a previous lover has been jailed for a year.
Gemma Bond was left in agony from the attack at their home in Snodland.
She had been married to Steven Bond for about 18 months before they separated and reconciled, Maidstone Crown Court was told.
Prosecutor Jose Olivares-Chandler said they rowed on October 26 last year.
Neighbour Mary Docherty knocked on the door and asked Mrs Bond if she wanted to join her for a drink.
"I was sobbing my heart out. I put my head on a pillow. He came over and ripped the whole of my ponytail off..." - victim Gemma Bond
Bond, 27, stood behind his wife glowering. He then accused his wife of wanting to go out for an affair.
"He made a reference to someone he had slept with during their separation being better in bed than her," said Mr Olivares-Chandler.
"She slapped him around the face. He became incensed and struck her in the face twice, causing her lip to swell.
"He yanked her hair so hard a clump came out. She screamed at him to leave."
Bond, of Covey Hall Road, Snodland, denied assault causing actual bodily harm, claiming he had been the victim of an unprovoked attack by his wife.
"He said she was drunk and she yanked her hair out when drunk," said Mr Olivares-Chandler.
Mother-of-one Mrs Bond told how she was "really hurt" when he declared another woman was a better lover.
"I slapped him across the face," she said. "I knew what was going to happen. I knew instantly I was in trouble. He hit me twice with the palm of his hand.
"My teeth went into my lip. I was sobbing my heart out. I put my head on a pillow. He came over and ripped the whole of my ponytail off.
"You took advantage of her in a distressed state and you should be deeply ashamed of yourself, though you plainly aren't..." - Judge Jeremy Carey
"I have never felt pain like it. I must have flaked out. When I came to I said: 'I want you to get out. You are not going to get away with this.'"
After the verdict by a 10-2 majority, jurors heard about Bond's violent past - with convictions for assault, threatening behaviour and racially aggravated criminal damage.
Judge Jeremy Carey told Bond: "You took your chances with this jury hoping to persuade them you were not the person who ripped the plait clean off her head.
"It was an appalling act of bullying and violence. You took advantage of her in a distressed state and you should be deeply ashamed of yourself, though you plainly aren't.
"She was vulnerable. You are a strong man and her husband. She was entitled to expect she would not be assaulted. It is serious offending."
The judge said if another court reviewed the sentence, it should be provided with photographs of Mrs Bond after the attack.
He added there was "precious, little or no mitigation".
Judge Carey told the jury of nine women and three men the case was "pretty distasteful" and he could "well understand" the verdict reached.
James Ross, defending, said Bond was not the same man as he was at the time of the offence, when he was receiving therapy and detoxification.
He had parted from his wife and had been in a new relationship for eight months.
Mr Ross said yanking off the victim's ponytail "may not have been a deliberate act".
"The court could consider a suspended sentence," he added.
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