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Alcoholic from Sawbridgeworth who hit ex with crutch and kicked her as she lay on the ground is jailed for two years

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An alcoholic from Sawbridgeworth who hit his former partner with a crutch and kicked her like a football while she was on the ground was jailed on Friday (April 16).

Joseph Lay, 46, of Edens Mount, who has 17 previous convictions, was jailed for two years at St Albans Crown Court.

Recorder Jeremy Brier said: “It was a sustained attack on a vulnerable person using a weapon. The victim was left petrified.”

Prosecutor Daniel Setter told the court that Lay had been in a five-year relationship with the woman. On January 22 this year she obtained a non-molestation order against him.

On March 16 he went to her address in breach of the court order. The next day she said he could return, but while drunk he picked up a crutch and hit her up to three times, causing a cut to her head.

When she went to go to the bathroom, he pushed her to the floor and kicked her hard like a football.

Police were called and found him lying on the sofa. He refused to stand up and swore at the officers.

Lay appeared for sentence on Friday having pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm, obstructing a constable and breaching a non-molestation order.

Defending, Minal Raj said the woman had taken out a non-molestation order against Lay but had invited him back to her home.

“After his arrest he was given a bail condition of having no contact with her. He has impeccably complied. He has accepted the relationship is over,” she said.

Ms Raj said Lay was determined to tackle his drink problem.

The judge said the enforced detoxification of a year – the time Lay will serve in prison – would be a launchpad for him to tackle his drink problem.

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