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Joe Letchford, from Halling, given restraining order after domestic abuse attack on woman

A thug who kicked his partner so hard she suffered serious internal injuries has been jailed for two years and nine months.

Joe Letchford was branded a coward by a judge for such a brutal attack on a woman, which left her in intensive care for weeks.

The 25-year-old admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm but denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Joe Letchford received a restraining order, which has been imposed for 10 years
Joe Letchford received a restraining order, which has been imposed for 10 years

He was alleged to have been wearing trainers at the time but he claimed he had nothing on his feet.

A jury of six men and six women took less than an hour to acquit him of the more serious charge.

Maidstone Crown Court heard Letchford, of Vicarage Road, Halling, attacked his partner after going home from work in a bad mood.

She told of being left in agony and unable to lie down all night.

She was taken to hospital and found to have a collapsed lung, a torn spleen and bruised ribs.

The boy was locked up for sexual abuse
The boy was locked up for sexual abuse

Prosecutor Trevor Wright said the victim's lung had a drain inserted and it had to be reinflated. Her spleen was removed in emergency surgery.

She was in intensive care for two weeks.

“He came home in a foul mood and took it out on her,” said Mr Wright.

Letchford and his partner were in a relationship for four years.

On November 30 last year, they spoke on the phone but she said she could not hear very well because their young son was screaming.

She hung up telling him she would speak to him later.

“He came home about an hour later,” she said. “I could tell there was a bit of tension because I hung up on him.”

Letchford played on his Xbox while she cooked dinner.

"He just said I was being a drama queen" - victim

“I just wanted a nice quiet evening, to watch a movie and cuddle up on the sofa,” she told the jury.

“He wanted his friends around to play on the Xbox.

“He said I was being selfish and that I should let him do what he wants to do because he works. I ignored him. I ran a bath.”

She said she went back into the lounge because she did not like arguing but he shouted at her and punched her in the face.

She went into the bedroom and lay on the bed crying. About an hour later she went back into the lounge to try to sort things out.

Letchford was again playing on his Xbox and told her to leave him alone.

“He turned it off and called me lots of names,” she continued.

“He said he was leaving. I said: ‘Fine, go. I don’t need this.’

Judge Philip Statman presided over the case
Judge Philip Statman presided over the case

“He grabbed my hair and pulled me down. He kicked me really hard on the left side. He turned around and pushed his foot back with his heel into my stomach.

“There was one full kick. It hurt really bad. He kicked that hard I moved across the floor. I crawled to my bedroom because I couldn’t stand up.

"He said I was just being a drama queen."

Judge Philip Statman told Letchford: “In my judgement, offences of this kind must receive substantial and immediate custody.”

A restraining order banning contact with the victim was imposed for 10 years.

The judge told jurors: “You have heard very difficult facts emerge from this case. It is always tragic when relationships go wrong in circumstances you have heard of.”

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