Thug freed as court takes the ‘hard line’
A brutal thug who inflicted horrific injuries on his girlfriend because he couldn’t get any money out of a cash machine has walked from court.
Loretta Butterworth was only saved from the punches, kicks and stamps rained down her by Toby Hayden when a mother and daughter heard her screams.
When police arrived to arrest him after the assault in Chippenham, Wiltshire, Hayden, 27, spat in the face of one police officer and tried to gouge the eyes of another.
But despite being on a suspended sentence, he escaped a jail sentence after magistrates heard he would return from jail “full of problems”.
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Instead, Hayden was handed an 18-month community order, 200 hours of unpaid work and an anger management course, which magistrates said was the “hard line”.
Ms D Slater, chairman of the magistrates, said: “This way you’re going to spend the next year-and-a-half addressing your behaviour.”
After the hearing, Miss Butterworth, 22, expressed her disbelief, and described how her face “exploded like an airbag” during the assault.
She said: “When I found out that he had walked free my heart sank. I was shocked and angry. He definitely should have gone to prison.
“He punched me repeatedly, he didn’t stop – but that wasn’t enough for him so he kicked me in the back of the head as I lay on the floor unable to defend myself. He then stamped on my face before walking home to his parents. There was no remorse, there was no concern.”
The attack happened as the couple walked home from a day out in Bath on February 9, where Hayden had several shots of tequila, at least eight pints and three cans of lager.
Miss Butterworth said: “He went to the cashpoint and tried to press the £10 or £20 button but it said insufficient funds, he made a growling noise and started to walk off.
“I went with him to convince him to come home but the next thing I knew and without any warning he had pinned me up against a wall.
“He raised his arm and punched me in the face. It felt like my face exploded, like an air bag had gone off.”
Chippenham magistrates were told that after Hayden was shown injuries he inflicted on Loretta, he said: “I didn’t know I was that much of an animal.”
Pauline Lambert, prosecuting, said the couple had been in a relationship for two years and started living together in Christian Malford, Wiltshire, in October.
She said Hayden began beating Loretta by pushing her against the wall and hitting her with full force on the nose.
Hayden, who pleaded guilty to three charges of assault, was banned from contacting Loretta for two years and ordered him to pay her £750 compensation.
Miss Butterworth, who lives with her mother in Corsham, Wiltshire, said she had planned to have children with Hayden but now never wanted to see him again. She said: “I can’t put into words what I think of him. He is scum, he has hit a new low. I never thought he could stoop so low.”