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Former soldier from Ashford who strangled and punched his ex jailed

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A former soldier who strangled and repeatedly punched his ex-partner while ripping out handfuls of her hair has been jailed.

Ian Masterman's victim lost consciousness in the devastating attack where, once police arrived, he tried thwarting attempts to assist her.

Ian Masterman
Ian Masterman

The 55-year-old sobbed as the jury delivered its guilty verdict at Canterbury Crown Court before repeatedly crying out: "I didn't do it, it wasn't me, I'm innocent."

Prosecutors showed the court images of the blood-spattered room and the victim's swollen face following the "vigorous" and cowardly attack.

The "shattered and broken" woman, a survivor of previous abusive relationships, told how she feared for her life.

"He really scared me and made me feel vulnerable," she said.

"I feel stupid that I didn't see the signs. I thought Ian will kill me – I was struggling to breathe."

'This attack on a vulnerable victim in her own home is so serious that only an immediate period of custody can be justified...'

She continued: "My trust for other people has been completely taken away. He has shattered me emotionally and I'm completely broken by his actions."

The brave woman managed to dial 999 and hide the phone, enabling the call handler to hear Masterman's campaign of abuse, the court heard.

Masterman would repeatedly punch and throttle her until she lost consciousness at their address in Kennington, Ashford, on the night before Valentine's Day this year.

The bully then tried wrestling with officers who attended the address but they managed to restrain him, and then found his victim laying in a heap in the living room.

The father-of-two, a former professional driver, gave a 'no comment' police interview.

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

Mitigating, Masterman's lawyer said he grew up in care, his "mental health was a concern" and he could risk being made homeless after losing his flat if imprisoned.

Handing down a two-year prison sentence at the hearing on November 23, Judge Simon James called the attack "protracted and vigorous".

"This attack on a vulnerable victim in her own home is so serious that only an immediate period of custody can be justified," he added.

He said officers acted in an "exemplary" fashion and he planned to write a personal letter of commendation to Kent Police chiefs.

Masterman, more recently of Lewisham, was convicted by majority of assault by beating and occasioning actual bodily harm.

He was also made subject to a five-year restraining order.

Commenting on the sentence, PC George Puxley, Kent Police’s investigating officer for the case, said: "Masterman is a violent bully who presents a clear danger to women.

"The victim showed exceptional bravery to report this case to us and I am pleased that we have secured this outcome for her.

"Masterman’s offending was intolerable and from the outset we took the most robust and proportionate course of action against him.

"No one should ever have to endure such abuse. I would encourage anyone affected by similar offending to report it to us – we will use every power available to us to pursue justice and ensure that they are supported throughout."

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