Pub attack pair jailed for ‘disgraceful’ attack on woman in front of child
- Credit: Suffolk Constabulary
An ex-couple have been jailed for beating a woman unconscious outside a Suffolk pub.
Andrew Hay and Fay Clerkin were sentenced to 16 months' custody at Ipswich Crown Court for causing grievous bodily harm in Haverhill last summer.
The court heard how Hay, of Pheasant Close, Thurston, and Clerkin, of Millfields Way, Haverhill, punched, kicked, stamped and spat on their victim in front of her nine-year-old son.
Hay's claim he acted in self-defence of his former partner was rejected by Judge Martyn Levett, who saw no evidence of provocation on CCTV footage, which he said showed the 36-year-old joining in after Clerkin launched the "horrific" attack.
The pair had previously been convicted of battery following a fight at a pub in February 2017.
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Clerkin, 32, had served out a year-long community sentence five months before the attack on the afternoon of July 28 last year.
Judge Levett said the victim was sitting in the beer garden with her son, "minding her own business; not causing any trouble whatsoever", when approached by Clerkin, pointing her finger and getting in her personal space.
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"You were hostile; foaming at the mouth and screaming at her," he added.
"Her son was clearly frightened by what happened.
"When she stood up, you grabbed hold of her hair.
"[Hay] didn't need to stick your nose into anyone else's affairs, but you kicked and punched her."
Judge Levett said the pair continued the attack until the pub landlord stepped in.
"It was a disgraceful episode of unnecessary violence," he added.
The victim suffered multiple fractures to the right eye socket, fractured ribs, bruising to the back and a gash to the head.
Although a wine glass was smashed during the incident, Judge Levett rejected any claim that Clerkin was provoked.
"I watched the CCTV for any action of a glass being smashed over someone's head, and I saw none. You were the instigator."
He said Clerkin, who has a record of 11 assaults on police, menaced two officers as they escorted her away from the scene.
"They were met with a tirade of abuse about who your family were. I have no idea what that could mean; other than that you are an unpleasant person.
"The time has come for you both to be told a custodial sentence is justified and necessary."