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John Varley 'twisted broken wine glass into ex-lover's face for wanting holiday in Tenerife'

A controlling man twisted a broken wine glass into the face of his former partner because she wanted to go on holiday to Tenerife, it has been alleged.

John Varley – who denies wounding his ex-lover with intent – broke down and sobbed in the dock as an image of her scarred face was shown to the jury.

The victim was pictured with the left side of her face scarred from the alleged attack which began over the holiday.

John Varley entering Maidstone Crown Court
John Varley entering Maidstone Crown Court

He later revealed in his defence he met his partner on the Spanish island and said he opposed to her going there because he believed she was drinking too much.

Varley, 58, of Pye Corner, Maidstone, is alleged to have attacked his victim in May 2017.

Prosecutor Tom Dunn told Maidstone Crown Court: “The prosecution say he attacked her with a broken wine glass causing a substantial wound to the side of her face which required surgery, and which has left her with lasting visible scars.”

He said the woman had become unhappy in the relationship and would have left him, but for the children.

Mr Dunn added: “Although she cared for him, and would be the first to say that he was a good father to their children, their relationship with each other over the last five years had been particularly strained.

“She says Varley was capable of being controlling and possessive – and particularly prone to jealousy.

“This manifested itself in a number of ways including not wanting to let her go out on her own or overreacting if he thought she was looking at another man.”

“Although she cared for him, and would be the first to say that he was a good father to their children, their relationship with each other over the last five years had been particularly strained..." - prosecutor Tom Dunn

He claimed that on the evening of the alleged attack the two hadspent the afternoon in the White Horse pub to celebrate a birthday.

“At some point that afternoon the victim’s parents asked Varley if he minded whether she went to Tenerife with them for a week.

“It appears that Mr Varley took against that request and the atmosphere changed as a result.

"The prosecution’s case is that Varley and the victim were together in the living room on the sofa and were offered bacon sandwiches.

“This appears to have led Varley to make something of a barbed comment about the fact that his partner hadn’t made him any supper earlier to which she replied words to the effect that she knew he would say something to spoil things."

The jury heard the two then picked up wine glasses at the same time.

Mr Dunn told them: “The prosecution say that Varley then lunged at her.

"Varley’s glass smashed, either because he smashed it into her glass or over her head.

"She does remember him hitting her over the head with the glass and then pushing her down with his left hand and holding her down with his body.

“He was holding the broken glass with his right hand and deliberately pushed the glass into her left eyebrow and then twisted the glass into her left cheek.

“As he did this, he said to her 'Go to Tenerife now'.

"She recalls that as he said that word “now”, he twisted the glass into her face.

"She also recalls the pain caused by him dragging the glass down her face," he alleged.

Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

She was taken initially to Medway Hospital and treated for the V-shaped wound, which has left her with permanent scarring.

Varley later told the jury at Maidstone Crown Court that hours earlier he had accused her of flirting in a pub.

He said: "I didn't want her to go because its 24-hour drinking in Tenerife.

"But I wouldn't hurt her deliberately… no I couldn't. I wouldn't. I was devastated. It was an accident.

"She was the woman I loved. I had cared for her from the start."

Varley has denied causing the injury and claimed they had been drinking "all day" in three pubs and returned home at midnight.

He said: "She was in a bad mood because she thought we had come home too early.

"We had more drink. I was tired and I knew what was coming. I was waiting for it to kick off.

"She would always get aggressive. She once punched my front tooth out.

"I didn't want her to go because its 24-hour drinking in Tenerife..." - John Varley

"She was just having a go at me. I just wanted to get out of the room as quickly as possible."

Varley told the court that as he got up from the chair his partner was "in my face".

He said he then turned around and found "her face hanging off".

He said: "It all happened in a split second. The wine glasses just shattered. There was glass all over the floor."

He told the jury how he met the victim when he moved to Tenerife and she was working in a bar.

The two later began a relationship and returned to live in the UK but recently their relationship "began a downward spiral", he added.

In November 2007 they went to the White Hart pub before going onto the Green Lion and then The Cricketers in north Kent.

Varley, a father-of-four, is alleged by his former lover to have been "controlling and jealous".

He said: "I don't accept that. But when she drank she didn't control herself and in the Green Lion I thought she was becoming flirtatious."

Varley said he believed his former partner was drinking too much, which is why he objected to her going on holiday to Tenerife with her family.

The trial continues.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

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