Woman going through gender transitioning needed reconstructive surgery after Northampton attack by 'pathetic creature'
Judge: 'This was a disgraceful incident carried out by a disgraceful individual'
A 'pathetic creature' who left a woman going through gender transitioning needed reconstructive surgery after a 'disgraceful' attack in Northampton was spared jail today (Tuesday, September 28).
Charlie Cox repeatedly punched the victim in the face and verbally abused her after grabbing her and dragging her to the floor on Bants Lane in 2019.
The 21-year-old, of Webb Drive, Northampton, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, at Northampton Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Recorder Benet Brandreth QC told him: "You repeatedly punched the victim in the face and as a result of the blows were savage damage to her face which required reconstructive surgery.
"The attack was accompanied by vile and bigoted insults - she was a vulnerable individual deserving of protections and sympathy but this was a disgraceful incident carried out by a disgraceful individual."
Andrew Peet, prosecuting, explained the victim was in a relatively fragile state during her transition and she had had a previous confrontation with Cox at her workplace.
The attack happened after Cox and his then-girlfriend shouted derogatory language at the woman about her transition on Bants Lane at around 9pm on May 19, 2019.
The defendant then grabbed the victim by the throat, she tried to fight back but he spun her around several times until she fell to the ground where he punched her up to eight times to the face.
The woman suffered a fractured nose, bruising to her forehead and tenderness to her face which required reconstructive surgery to fix.
Cox was arrested the next day and gave no comment at interview so the victim had to identify him at an identity parade at the police station.
Mr Peet said the woman refused to make a statement about the impact the attack has had on her but added she has lost confidence as a result.
Sophie Stannard, defending, said her client is 'extremely remorseful' for his actions and has made changes to his life since the incident to address his offending, such as changing his peers and stopping taking cocaine.
Cox was in an unhealthy relationship at the time with a woman who had had previous incidents with the victim which 'fueled the fire' of the Bants Lane attack, the barrister added.
"This is somebody who has had a difficult childhood and his relationships have affected how he's behaved in the past but he's on a better path and has the help of others," Ms Stannard said.
Recorder Brandreth described Cox as a 'pathetic creature' and said it was 'shameful' that he sought to blame the 'traumatised' victim before pleading guilty on the first day of his trial.
The judge said he had given 'very anxious consideration' to whether to suspend the sentence or not as he was torn between the concerns about not learning from his mistakes in the past and the positive steps taken since the incident.
"It points both ways and I'm not certain the right course is to suspend but on balance the correct course is to give you the chance to continue to reform but we will monitor that closely," he said.
As well as the suspended sentence, Cox will have a review in three months to check his progress and have to complete a six-month alcohol treatment requirement and 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.
Recorder Brandreth also made a five-year restraining order for the defendant to stop him from contacting the victim.