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BEHIND BARS: Hemel Hempstead man jailed for eight years after assaulting partner

 Published on: 22nd August 2023   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A man from Hemel Hempstead was jailed for eight years and five months yesterday (Monday, August 21) following a serious assault which left his ex-partner with life-changing injuries.

Benn Merryweather, 41, was charged with multiple offences following an incident on August 27 last year.

Police attended an address at around 9.30pm, following several calls about a disturbance, the court was told.

Upon police arrival, Merryweather initially failed to respond to officers and open the door. Once officers gained entry, a woman was found semi-unconscious in the hallway with what appeared to be a serious head injury.

Merryweather was arrested at the scene while the victim received medical assistance. She was transported to hospital where she was placed in an induced coma.

She spent a week in hospital having suffered memory loss and multiple fractures to her eye socket, cheekbone, ribs and spine.

Following extensive enquiries, it was discovered on CCTV earlier that same evening that Merryweather and the victim were walking down a local high street before he swiped her legs from behind and left her lying on the ground.

Merryweather was charged with Section 18 grievous bodily harm (GBH), assault by beating, and coercive and controlling behaviour.

He admitted assault by beating, which related to the incident earlier in the evening, but denied all other charges.

At yesterday’s sentencing hearing, Merryweather was given a custodial sentence of eight years and five months, plus an extended licence period of three years, resulting in an overall sentence of 11 years and five months for all offences.

He has also been handed a restraining order preventing him from ever contacting the victim again.

Detective Constable Rebecca Cannon, Detective Sergeant Naysha Foley and Detective Inspector Claire Richardson-Wabe were praised by Judge Evans for the investigation and their hard work in bringing Merryweather to justice.

Judge Evans also commended the victim and her family for their bravery in the face of what was a difficult and emotional trial.

DCI Andrea Dalton, from the Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit, said: “This was a challenging and complex investigation for our team. Upon arrest, Merryweather absolved all responsibility of the GBH assault and maintained that the victim had fallen down the stairs. He also failed to provide any further account of what happened. As a result of this traumatic and violent assault, the victim also had no recollection of the incident.

“Hertfordshire Constabulary has a zero tolerance to this type of abhorrent behaviour, and we are pleased that Merryweather will now serve time in prison for his wrongdoing.

“I also hope today’s sentence will give the victim a sense of closure and enable her to move on with her life, safe in the knowledge that Merryweather will never be able to contact her again.”

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