Published: 13:30, 19 April 2017
A thug pleaded to be jailed for long enough to help him turn his life around after a series of brutal attacks on a former partner.
Christian Hinkley punched, kicked, strangled and bit his ex in a campaign of violence - which police feared could have ended in her death.
But minutes before he was to be sentenced, the 31-year-old penned a letter to the judge in the cells.
He wrote: "Please give me long enough to clean up and turn my life around but not so long that it ruins my life."
Hinkley, who was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and three common assaults on the same woman, was given an 18-year extended sentence.
His victim had reluctantly given evidence at the trial at Canterbury Crown Court – but video footage from a police officer's bodycam showing the distressed victim was shown to the jury.
Hinkley, of Harold Road, Cliftonville has previous convictions dating back to 2009 for attacks on previous partners, which involved punching, kicking and strangling.
Kerry Waitt, defending: "He can see how his life has been blighted by these outbursts of bad behaviour which was attributed to the misuse of illegal substances."
Judge James O’Mahony noted his latest victim was left with a 15cm vertical bruise over her left eye, parallel bruises above and below both eyes, "extreme" bruising to her body and bite marks.
He told the bully: "It is said you didn’t use a weapon but you hardly needed one if you were strangling, biting and punching someone."
Hinkley later carried out more attacks on the same victim in September last year while on bail, punching and kicking her and dragging her by the hair.
The judge told him: "I have read your letter that you are beginning to face up to reality but it's all too late. If you had pleaded guilty and said you were sorry it would have been so much better for you.
"This was a sustained assault by you on your partner and footage from the police body cam showed your victim seriously wounded and extremely distressed. No-one who saw that will likely forget it."
A police officer who investigated the attacks believed if she continued in the relationship her life could be at risk – and the judge commented: "Unfortunately that was no exaggeration at all."
Hinkley was jailed for 14 years and the judge ordered him to serve a further four years on licence when he is released.
Kris Venkatasami, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East, said: “This was an absolutely appalling case of domestic abuse, leaving the victim fearing for her life. Sadly, as is so often the case in these sorts of incidents, he went on to attack her again, proving how violent and dangerous he was.
“Cases such as this are a terrible reminder of just how brutal domestic abuse can be. It comes in all forms and can include all sorts of controlling behaviour and even emotional or financial abuse.
“It is something we are committed to tackling and it’s something that sadly is more common than people probably believe.
"Figures from 2016 show we dealt with an average of around 215 cases each month in Kent. All too often, it’s a hidden crime and that’s why it’s so important for those who suffer domestic abuse to come forward and report what is happening to them."
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