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Angry Thomas Ludlow fractures man's jaw in row over girl: Court

Maidstone crown court
Maidstone crown court

Maidstone Crown Court, where Ludlow's case is being heard

by Julia Roberts

A man was left “in agony” and needed a metal plate inserted into his fractured jaw after being headbutted and punched, a court heard.

Thomas Scully was allegedly attacked by James Ludlow as he walked home from the Spyglass and Kettle pub in Wigmore in March last year.

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court was told there was “a history” between Mr Scully and the 22-year-old.

Two years previously Mr Scully had been in a relationship with a woman called Marie Hart. But at the time of the alleged attack she was dating Ludlow.

Prosecutor Trevor Wright said Mr Scully was at the junction with Swain Road and Hoath Lane when he heard someone calling.

He looked around and, as the man got closer, saw it was Ludlow, who commented on “apparent” contact between Mr Scully and Miss Hart five months earlier.

The jury was told he then attacked Mr Scully. “He stepped forward and headbutted him in the area of the right eye and punched him to the left side of his jaw,” said the prosecutor.

Ludlow then got into the passenger seat of a waiting MG car and was driven away.

Mr Scully returned to his friends in the pub and told them what had happened. One telephoned Miss Hart, was given Ludlow’s number and then called him.

“He was asked why it was he had hit Mr Scully, to which Ludlow replied that Mr Scully had been sending texts to Miss Hart and he always wanted to hit him,” added Mr Wright.

Ludlow, of Temeraire Manor, Brompton, denies inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.

Mr Scully told the court he was “in agony” when he awoke the following morning. He said his jaw was swollen and he could not eat properly.

However, it was another two days before he went to hospital and X-rays revealed a fracture to either side of his jaw.

“I thought it was just swollen and it would go down,” explained Mr Scully. “But when I tried eating my jaw wouldn’t line up and it just felt out of place. I couldn’t eat properly.”

Mr Scully was transferred to the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead and underwent surgery to insert a metal plate.

“It was put into one side of my jaw but they left the other because it was a small fracture and they said it would heal without assistance,” he added.

Ludlow was arrested and claimed Mr Scully mouthed a derogatory word at him as he and his friend drove past the junction.

He then told police that as he approached, Mr Scully swung a punch, missed, and then swung again, giving him a fat lip.

“He said he retaliated in self-defence by punching him with a clenched fist once in the face,” the prosecutor told the jury. “He denied ever asaulting him with a headbutt...He insisted he had only hit him once because Mr Scully had swung at him.”

However, Mr Scully denied during his evidence that he had done or said anything to provoke the alleged attack.

The trial continues.

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