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Folkestone musician Stephen Harris jailed for scalding partner with boiling water from kettle

A musician who scalded his partner with boiling water from a kettle has been jailed for 10 years.

Jealous Stephen Harris, from Folkestone, was angry about her relationship with another man and in a fit of temper hurled the water from a kettle, scarring her for life.

Harris, 40, then told his terrified girlfriend: "Have that. No one is going to look at you now, are they?"

Stephen Harris. Picture: Kent Police.
Stephen Harris. Picture: Kent Police.

Judge Simon James told Harris, of Marine Terrace: "This was a vicious and cowardly act, leaving your victim permanently scarred both physically and emotionally.

"The pain you caused her must have been truly excruciating. You used boiling water as a weapon on a vulnerable woman in her own home.

"This was the culmination of a violent, abusive and controlling relationship. This was a callous act borne out of jealousy and arrogance."

The jury had retired for more than seven-and-a-half hours before finding him guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The victim had boiling water poured over her. Stock picture.
The victim had boiling water poured over her. Stock picture.

The woman, who also sang with her former partner, was left with scars to her stomach, thighs and other parts of the body, and was treated at the East Grinstead Specialist Burns Unit in June this year.

The water burned eight per cent of her body and she needed skin grafts and is still struggling with the consequences of the attack by her bullying ex.

Prosecutor Simon Taylor told how the couple had been in an on-off relationship for three years.

"Have that! No one is going to look at you now, are they?" - Harris, to his victim

He said: “It is a relationship that could properly be described as volatile and in the past (she) had made reports to the police of being assaulted.”

The victim told Canterbury Crown Court how she had been in bed on June 2 when Harris returned from getting milk.

She said she heard her boyfriend making himself a drink after filling up the kettle in the kitchen.

She said that while he was making the drink he was calling her names about her sexual relationship with another man.

“He said I was a slut and was beyond anyone’s help," she added.

Harris shouted that the ex-lover was going to “f****** get it. He is really going to get hurt when I see him!”

He then returned to the bedroom holding a red kettle and threw scalding water at her, shouting: “F***** have that! No one is going to look at you now, are they?”

The victim said she felt excruciating pain to her body and on a 1 to 10 scale of pain said it was a 10.

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

She added: “I was screaming. I said: ‘Babe, babe, what did you do that for?' she added.

As she sat in the bedroom in agony she shouted: “Why did you do that? Help me, help me!”

Harris told her to get into the shower but she fled the flat and ran for help at Gillespie’s pub in Harbour Way, asking a man to call for an ambulance.

Paramedics arrived and gave her morphine for the pain before she was taken to Ashford’s William Harvey Hospital.

The judge heard that in the past Harris had attacked his sister and mother.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Carl Evans said: "This was an unprovoked, horrendous attack on a defenceless woman.

"Harris denied committing the offence and tried to blame his partner throughout. I hope this sentence provides some reassurance to the victim that he can no longer cause her any harm."

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