Men jailed for Wellingborough hotel attack which left victim unrecognisable

Northampton Crown Court heard how the girl was beaten beyond recognition by the two young men.
Northampton Crown Court heard how the girl was beaten beyond recognition by the two young men.

Two men who beat an 18-year-old girl in a Wellingborough hotel so badly she was barely recognisable have been jailed.

Daniel Whelan, 21, from Harborough Road, Kingsthorpe, Northampton, and Jordan-Reece Stratford, 19, of no fixed abode, were sentenced in Northampton Crown Court yesterday (September 1) after an earlier conviction by a jury for inflicting grievous bodily harm.

A victim impact statement read out in court said the girl’s injuries, which included broken facial bones and ribs, left her feeling “unrecognisable” to the point of resembling “an elephant man”.

His Honour Judge Michael Fowler said: “This was a sustained and repeated attack on a vulnerable person. She was drunk and trapped in a room alone with you two on her own.

“It is unimaginable how anyone could have done what you did.”

On November 6, 2016, the victim went to the Hind Hotel, in Wellingborough, to meet with Whelan and Stratford.

The court heard how when she left the following morning, she had been “subjected to the sort of violence that left her traumatised and disfigured.”

Judge Fowler said: “This prolonged attack involved holding her by the mouth and hair and as the two of you beat her.

“It started when you, Whelan, for whatever reason, threw a hard punch at her face. Just what sort of evil it must take to do this is almost unimaginable.

“You then held her by the hair and continued to punch her. And you, Stratford, then joined in.”

The attack lasted half an hour. A guest in a nearby room, who later gave evidence in court, heard screaming, shouting and crying.

The beating only stopped when Whelen reportedly “snapped out of it”. The two attackers then forced the girl to stay in the room with them until the next morning.

Judge Fowler said: “This young woman has spoken of the social and psychological effects she has suffered and will continue to suffer.”

Whelan was sentenced to seven years in prison. Stratford, who was 18 at the time of the assault, will serve five years in a young offenders institute.