Man whose attack on partner left her brain-damaged has jail sentence increased
A man jailed after subjecting his partner to an attack so violent it left her brain-damaged and unable to walk independently has had his prison sentence increased.
Adam Fleming (pictured), 27, inflicted life-threatening injuries on the vulnerable woman in their flat in Ramsgate, Kent, in January last year.
She was found by doctors to have suffered brain damage with internal bleeding, multiple facial fractures, extensive bruising on her body and fractured ribs.
After pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent on the day of his trial at Canterbury Crown Court (pictured), Fleming was later handed a custodial term of 14 years, with an extended licence period of four years.
The victim’s daughter said in a statement in September that she feared her mother “will be in a care home for the rest of my life”.
“All I want is to see my mum happy, I want to be able to go out and spend time together, and it destroys me knowing that this might never happen again,” she said.
Solicitor General Alex Chalk QC later referred Fleming’s sentence to the Court of Appeal as “unduly lenient”.
In a judgment issued on Thursday, senior judges agreed, quashing the original sentence and replacing it with a 17-year-and-six-months custodial term, with a four-year extended licence period.
At a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London last week, Jonathan Polnay, representing the Solicitor General, argued that there had been a “prolonged and persistent attack” that caused “permanent irreversible injury”.
He argued that the “exceptionally high” level of harm in the case meant the sentence imposed in December should have been longer.
Mr Polnay told the court that the sentencing judge found that it was the “culmination of a history of violence or abuse towards the victim”.
In the ruling, Lord Justice William Davis, sitting with Mr Justice Hilliard and Judge Alan Conrad QC, noted the “volatile” nature of the relationship.
He said “neighbours regularly heard screaming and shouting coming from their flat” and the victim “often would be seen with bruises and black eyes”.
On one occasion the victim sent a voice message for a social worker where Fleming could be heard in the background saying ‘I’m going to do this all night’ after which the victim cried out in pain, the judge said.
On January 11 2021, Fleming called a social worker saying his partner “had a fit” and was “making funny noises”.
Fleming called emergency services “but was showing no sense of urgency or any particular concern”.
His victim ended up in intensive care for 10 days, and needed extensive rehabilitation support for months afterwards.
Fleming, who is being held at HMP Elmley, claimed after he was arrested that he had been in the toilet when he heard a “thud” and then found his victim on the floor.
Medical experts could not determine the specific cause of particular injuries, but said the facial fractures were “consistent with blows from a fist or a foot” and the brain injury was “indicative of an accelerated fall backwards due to a blow or blows to the front of the face”.
Nick Wells, representing Fleming at the hearing, argued that the sentence was “severe” and not unduly lenient.
Mr Justice Davis said the victim, who suffered “appalling consequences”, was “defenceless in her own home”.
He concluded: “The violation of trust was acute. This was not a case of a sudden outburst of temper in an otherwise good relationship.
“As accepted on the offender’s behalf there was a long history of violence and coercive behaviour on his part.
“He continued to behave in that way despite the intervention of social workers trying to act in the best interests of (the victim).”
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