Two years’ imprisonment has been imposed on a London man who repeatedly struck an Ashford woman in the face before strangling her.
Ian Masterman also pulled out a clump of the victim’s hair while he subjected her to a prolonged period of abuse inside an Ashford home in February 2021.
The 55-year-old, from Lewisham, London, denied actual bodily harm and assault by beating but was found guilty following a trial at Canterbury Crown Court on Tuesday 23 November.
He was also issued with a five-year restraining order.
Kent Police was alerted to the abuse by the victim shortly after midnight on Sunday 14 February, when she was briefly able to get away from Masterman.
As she was on the phone to a call handler, however, Masterman entered the room. She hid her handset behind a sofa before she was grabbed by the neck, punched several times in the face and had hair pulled from her head. She was also strangled as she lay on the floor.
Patrols were quickly deployed to the scene and, fearing the victim had come to serious harm, forced their way into the address.
As an officer searched the property, Masterman charged at them but they were quickly able to restrain him.
The victim was then found and disclosed to the constables that, in addition to the assault which took place while she was on the phone, Masterman had struck her earlier that evening. Specialist policing teams have since made every effort to provide her with the best possible support.
Masterman was charged with both offences less than 24 hours later and officers remanded him in custody to appear at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court.
He was then released on court bail, while he awaited a future hearing, with strict conditions not to re-enter Kent.
Police Constable George Puxley, Kent Police’s investigating officer for the case, said: ‘Masterman is a violent bully who presents a clear danger to women. The victim showed exceptional bravery to report this case to us and I am pleased that we have secured this outcome for her. Masterman’s offending was intolerable and from the outset we took the most robust and proportionate course of action against him. No one should ever have to endure such abuse. I would encourage anyone affected by similar offending to report it to us – we will use every power available to us to pursue justice and ensure that they are supported throughout.’PC George Puxley