Martial arts-style kick during assault broke girlfriend's arm

A man who broke his girlfriend's arm in a bedroom with a martial arts-style kick has been spared jail.

Saturday, 18th March 2017, 8:56 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:02 am
The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.
The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

Luke Fowler, 26, told police his girlfriend had slapped his face earlier when they argued while he was still in bed at her house in Hartlepool.

He called her fat and he did a martial arts-style kick with his left leg at her right arm.

There was a snapping noise and she realised it was broken.

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He started to collect his belongings together and he left.

Prosecutor Emma Atkinson told Teesside Crown Court the 32-year-old woman had been in a relationship with Fowler since May last year when they met on the internet.

After the attack on December 20 she went to the One Life walk-in centre, in Hartlepool, and said that she had fallen and she was given a number of tablets.

He phoned her and apologised and said that he did not mean to break her arm.

She was unable to carry on with her job as a support worker, and initially she was petrified that he would return.

In a victim impact statement on February 26 she said her arm was still in plaster and it would have to remain in it for another four weeks.

She would have to have physiotherapy to regain the use of her arm.

She was not allowed to do her job and she had been in receipt of sick pay after being off work for 10 weeks.

She had to give up her rented home and move back in with her mother.

She said that Fowler’s guilty plea had come as a big relief to her, but she asked for a restraining order to be him from contacting her.

Stephen Constantine, mitigating, said that Fowler was of previous good character and he had health problems which meant he was unable to work.

He said that Fowler did not do martial arts, and he was barefoot in his underwear when he kicked out.

Mr Constantine said that Fowler had since moved from Hartlepool to Coulby Newham, near Middlesbrough, to start afresh.

Judge Peter Armstrong said he accepted that Fowler had unintentionally caused the serious injury to the woman’s arm.

The judge told him: “Had you been in work I could have ordered you to pay a substantial amount of compensation perhaps even running into thousands of pounds.

“I am satisfied that she will be able to obtain compensation from another source.”

Judge Armstrong added: “I have to follow sentencing guidelines.

“Quite clearly this was a case involving greater harm.

“It’s fortunate for you that you were not charged with a more serious offence.

“Breaking her arm was the unfortunate consequences of an assault.”

Fowler, now of Oakhill, Coulby Newham, was given an eight months jail sentence suspended for two years.

He was also given a 9pm to 7am curfew for four months and a 25 days rehabilitation requirement, a restraining order banning him from contacting her for two years, and he was ordered to pay £500 compensation at £5 a week after he pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm assault.