Published: 06:00, 15 September 2021
| Updated: 14:46, 15 September 2021
A woman was left eating through a straw after her bullying boyfriend broke her jaw in a brutal attack.
The victim was left wondering if she would ever be able to chew food again following the vicious assault, which was the latest in a series of violent outbursts by Keiron Dodge.
In another attack just weeks before, the 27-year-old abuser slammed his partner’s head repeatedly into the floor, causing temporary hearing loss.
But despite being behind bars after his arrest, he convinced two friends into trying to pressure his ex into dropping any charges.
Canterbury Crown Court heard how the violence had intensified during their five-month relationship, with Dodge verbally abusing her for 45 minutes before lashing out in the latest attack.
She told the court: “It is something he has done previously. I looked in Keiron’s face and he looked so angry, so distant.
“Due to him being so close I pushed him and said ‘get out of my face’ – then I braced myself because I knew what was coming. I felt my mouth fill up with blood.”
'He wanted to control me as he thought I was talking to other men...'
The woman was rushed to Ashford’s William Harvey Hospital and surgically treated for a fractured jaw and damaged teeth, prosecutor Craig Evans explained.
Dodge could be seen rolling his eyes in court as his victim, who was forced to eat through a straw for months, described her agony.
“He only punched me once but the trauma he has caused me just makes me cry,” she added.
“Every time I look in the mirror I am reminded of Mr Dodge and how he assaulted me.”
After his arrest, Dodge headbutted a hole in a wall, then used the prison phone to convince two friends to try to persuade his ex-partner to drop the charges but his actions were reported to police.
The bully would call her “a slag” and “fat” as the relationship progressed, with his cannabis and alcohol abuse worsening, she explained.
Dodge prevented her finding work as a carer during the pandemic and soon turned violent. “He wanted to control me as he thought I was talking to other men,” she said.
Dodge first punched his girlfriend in the face in December 2020 and on New Year’s Eve launched a cigarette lighter at her face after demanding her phone.
A week later he would punch her again and slam her head against the floor four or five times, causing her to lose her hearing temporarily.
But each time she left he would beg for her to return, until the final attack later in January.
Judge Mark Weekes told Dodge his actions “were cowardly” and he treated his partner “as personal property”.
“You should be thoroughly ashamed of the effect you had on her,” he said.
“Every time she looks in the mirror she is reminded of how you assaulted her. I applaud her bravery to come forward and tell of your abuse towards her.”
Judge Weekes branded Dodge’s previous 58 convictions “simply appalling” and deemed him dangerous, before handing down an extended sentence.
Dodge, of Surrey Road, Margate, who appeared via videolink from HMP Elmley, will serve four years in custody with a chance for parole two-thirds through the term.
He was also handed a restraining order until further notice and will spend a year on licence after his release.
At a previous hearing, Dodge pleaded guilty to criminal damage, two counts of assault by beating, occasioning actual bodily harm, unlawful wounding and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Simon Blackford, mitigating, highlighted the absence of a weapon in the latest attack and stated Dodge told friends during prison phone calls he “didn’t want anyone to pressure” the victim into dropping charges.