A Sowerby Bridge man who broke a woman’s jaw with a single punch has been branded a “coward” by a judge.
Landscape gardener Adam Holcroft, 23, was today (Friday) jailed for three years after a jury found him guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm on 26-year-old Lindsey Gilbert during an incident at a bedsit in Halifax nine months ago.
Bradford Crown Court heard that the complainant and Holcroft’s girlfriend had fallen out while the group were drinking at the bedsit and the women had been involved in a “cat fight”.
Judge Robert Bartfield said rather than trying to stop the fight Holcroft had landed what must have been a severe punch in Lindsey Gilbert’s face virtually knocking her out.
The judge described Holcroft as a large and well-built man and said a person who used such violence against a woman was a coward.
Judge Bartfield said the father-of-one’s cowardice was magnified by the fact that during his trial he had tried to suggest that his girlfriend had been responsible.
“Your defence in the end was ridiculous and the jury dismissed it,” said the judge.
“The idea that your partner, who is just as slight as the victim, could inflict that kind of damage was rightly rejected by them. Your only purpose since the case began has been to try and evade responsibility.”
The court heard that the complainant spent a weekend in hospital and had to undergo surgery to have metal plates inserted in her damaged jaw.
The judge said the consequences for the victim had been absolutely disastrous and Holcroft had only shown arrogance and callousness in relation to the injury she suffered.
“It’s not surprising that the effect on her has been so severe. It might be lifelong,” said Judge Bartfield.
“She’s been having nightmares. She does not go out at night.”
The judge said the complainant now had little feeling in her bottom lip and could face further extensive dental work.
Back in May 2012 Holcroft, of Mount Street, was jailed for a similar attack in drink which left another man with a broken cheekbone.
Jailing Holcroft for three years Judge Bartfield said the attack on Lindsey Gilbert was right at the top of the range and it was aggravated by the defendant’s previous conviction.