Suffolk airman banned from pubs and clubs after ex attack

A Suffolk airman whose commanding officer referred to him as a “role model” was banned from entering all pubs and clubs in Norfolk and Suffolk after assaulting his former girlfriend.

Christopher Appleby, 25, of 15 Squadron, based at RAF Honington, had been living with the woman before the attacks on January 17, March 6 and March 11.

Thetford Magistrates’ Court heard how she sustained a broken wrist, bruising to her face, and was repeatedly punched on all three occasions.

Appleby, who was recently promoted to Corporal, appeared yesterday in a dark grey suit and tie, accompanied by his commanding officer who had submitted a statement.

Chairman of the bench Graham Cross however, said: “These are particularly nasty attacks on a female. I take particular issue with some of the comments from your officer saying you are a role model. I don’t feel these are the actions of a role model.”

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Appleby, who is due to be deployed to Afghanistan in the near future, pleaded guilty to all three charges.

Referring to the first assault Josephine Jones, prosecuting, said: “The defendant pushed the complainant and grabbed her by her hair and repeatedly banged her head on the floor which caused a red mark on her forehead.

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“The second was in London during a visit to the complainant’s father. They had been at a party and then went to sleep.

“The complainant was woken up when the defendant went to the toilet. He then got back into bed but the other way around. She clipped his body with her feet and he punched her above her left eye. She turned away and he hit her again.”

Miss Jones went on to say that the third incident occurred during a row over a phone which Appleby refused to let his girlfriend use.

He then went on to punch her, causing her to cry, and threw a table at her. She broke her wrist.

Malcolm Plummer, mitigating, however, said Appleby gave a different version of events. He said: “It was a nasty injury but I think I’m right in saying it wasn’t a savage attack, it was a specific matter relating to the struggle over the phone.

“The lady had taken his mobile phone and the injury was caused when he tried to take it out of her hand. In the process her wrist was broken.”

He went on: “While there’s no reason he should escape punishment because he is in the services, I think it is a relevant factor.”

Appleby was ordered to pay �1,200 compensation to his victim and �200 in court costs.

He was sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid work, issued with an order prohibiting him from entering any bar or club in Norfolk or Suffolk, and given a restraining order in relation to his former girlfriend.

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