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Thug who assaulted young woman in Maidstone before running to Romania is jailed for six years

A "callous" thug, who smashed his fist into the face of a woman in an unprovoked street attack, has been jailed for more than six years.

The incident left the terrified victim spitting out teeth as she pleaded with two passing motorists, but the heartless drivers failed to stop.

Calin was arrested in Bucharest and brought back to the UK. Video: Kent Police

And the anguished 21-year-old woman, with blood pouring from her nose, made her way home in Maidstone before falling into the arms of her brother who raised the alarm.

Romanian Gabriel Calin, 28, has now received a jail sentence of six years and one month after being found guilty of attempting to cause her serious bodily harm.

Maidstone Crown Court heard Calin, of no fixed address, had been in the Week Street slots amusement arcade, Cashino on April 16, 2019.

He was then caught on CCTV walking behind his victim as she made her way home.

She told a jury how she had finished work at the Muggleton Inn in High Street and begun the 20 minute walk when she became aware of a man walking in the same direction.

The courageous victim broke down in the witness box twice as she recalled being stalked by the burley stranger.

The court was shown footage of the victim walking down Gabriel's Hill before she slowed down to allow him to overtake her.

But at the junction of Park Way and Loose Road, he re-appeared behind her and pounced.

Gabriel Calin. Picture: Kent Police
Gabriel Calin. Picture: Kent Police

She recalled: "I heard footsteps behind me. I was scared and screamed. He grabbed my hands and wrist and said: 'It's alright!'

"Then his face dropped and he hit me in the face with his fist."

She told how she was knocked to the ground and began spitting out teeth as her mouth filled with blood.

But she bravely began fighting back by kicking him in the stomach as Calin continued to punch her.

Prosecutor Gordon Ross told the jury: "This was a despicable act of some callousness...she had done nothing to bring this about.

Calin being extradited from Romania. Picture: Kent Police
Calin being extradited from Romania. Picture: Kent Police
Calin being extradited from Romania. Picture: Kent Police
Calin being extradited from Romania. Picture: Kent Police

"It is the stuff of everyone's nightmare, a vulnerable young woman walking home alone in the early hours of the morning and being attacked by a complete stranger."

Sentencing had been adjourned for a psychiatric report and to assess any risk Calin posed to the public.

But although Judge Philip St John-Stevens said it was "a very worrying case", he ruled Calin was not a dangerous offender.

Jailing the married dad-of-two, he added: "The victim was obviously vulnerable due to her circumstances - being alone, moving from the town centre where there was CCTV and walking alone at 1am.

"The serious feature of this case is the psychological harm to that female, aged 19, (at the time of the offence) whose view now is that the impact will remain with her.

"What is clear is that it has profoundly changed her life - a young woman who was confident to be able to walk home from work has had that robbed from her and is constantly looking over her shoulder.

"She now chooses to use a car rather than walk. Her freedom and choice of doing that have effectively been taken from her."

Victim impact statements read out in court detailed how she was left anxious, unable to sleep, suffering from nightmares, and "reliving the assault as if it was yesterday".

"I am still freaked out when people approach me from behind and this feeling shows no signs of abating," she wrote.

"This attack will stay with me for the rest of my life and I feel I lost a little part of me on that day that I will never get back."

Calin is expected to be deported on his release from prison.

Calin being extradited from Romania. Picture: Kent Police
Calin being extradited from Romania. Picture: Kent Police

The court heard he has no previous convictions in the UK but was jailed for two-and-a-half years in Romania in 2015 in respect of a driving offence and one of illegal entry into premises.

Calin was found guilty of the latest offence by a jury after a three-day trial.

After the verdict, Calin's barrister Richard Furlong claimed his client, who didn't give evidence, was drunk and had been asking for directions to a petrol station.

"He had drunk to excess but his recollection of what happened isn't clear and he thought he had been speaking in Romanian. He ran when he saw the blood."

The court heard the next day he went to Maidstone Hospital for treatment to a hand wound, ironically hours after the victim had been treated for her injuries at the same hospital."

After the incident he fled to Romania where he was later arrested and extradited to Kent after spending a month in jail.

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