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Lee Merrett jailed for punching partner and baby at Dymchurch caravan park

By Paul Hooper

A mother clutched her bruised, nine-month-old child in her arms after fleeing her drunk partner on a Dymchurch caravan park.

The terrified woman frantically ran to nearby homes at the New Beach Park to try to raise the alarm after bully Lee Merrett beat her and punched her baby in the face.

The mum – who had been hit several times by bully Lee Merrett – banged on several doors before someone came to her aid.

Lee Merrett
Lee Merrett

Now, 23-year-old Merrett has been jailed for 15 months for the assaults, which a judge described as "frankly unforgivable, disgraceful and cowardly".

Prosecutor Scott Brady told Canterbury Crown Court that Merrett and the woman had come to the park for a week’s holiday last July.

During the day, Merrett, 23, had downed most of a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey before the two began arguing.

Judge Simon James
Judge Simon James

Mr Brady said Merrett wanted to go and play in the amusement arcade but the woman asked him to stay with her and their child.

He said: "She lay on the bed with the child in her arms when the argument began over his drinking. At this point he punched her in the face repeatedly, causing bruising and leaving her with marks near her left eye, and marks to her neck."

During the argument, Merrett picked up an aerosol can and threw it at his partner, hitting her in the right arm, leaving a bruise.

"Violence against a child of his age is frankly unforgivable" - Judge Simon James

The prosecutor added that Merrett also punched the crying baby in the face, leaving him with a swollen black eye, before headbutting his lover in the back of the head.

"It was at this point she managed to escape from the caravan and she went to a number of caravans, banging on the doors, until she found someone to let her and her child inside, and called the police," he said.

Merrett, from Walsall in the West Midlands, who admitted two assaults, was found hiding under a caravan by officers. He later told police he had been drinking whiskey and lager since 7pm and had wanted to go to the arcades.

"He admitted to calling her all sorts of things and giving her abuse and claimed she had smacked him in the face before he grabbed her around the throat for between 15 to 20 seconds."

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

The prosecutor added that she claimed she was struck 20 times during the argument and their three-year relationship was now at an end.

Judge Simon James told him: "You punched your young child in the face, causing bruising.

"Violence against a child of his age is frankly unforgivable.

"It was a disgraceful and cowardly act. It was your job to protect your child, not subject him to violence."

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