June 2016

Man jailed for attacking partner and baby at Dymchurch caravan park


A drunken father who punched his crying baby son full on in the face when his girlfriend said he couldn’t go to an amusement arcade has been jailed.

Thug Lee Merrett, 23, from Walsall, West Midlands, had downed most of a bottle of Jack Daniels before he hit his terrified partner 20 times and then turned on their nine-month-old son.

The family had been on holiday at a caravan park in Dymchurch, Kent, and Merrett had wanted to play in a nearby amusement arcade but his girlfriend asked if he would stay with her and the baby.

Canterbury Crown Court was told that a row broke out over Merrett’s drinking which resulted in him hitting his partner in the face before throwing an aerosol can at her.

He then punched the crying baby in the face, leaving the nine-month-old with a swollen black eye and distraught in pain.

Scott Brady, prosecuting, told the court that Merrett then headbutted the woman before she managed to get away.

Mr Brady said: ‘It was at this point she managed to escape from the caravan and she went to a number of caravans, banging on the doors, until she found someone to let her and her child inside, and called the police.’

Merrett was found hiding under a caravan by officers and admitted the two assaults.

His partner claimed she was struck 20 times during the argument and their three-year relationship had now ended.

Mr Brady added: ‘He admitted to calling her all sorts of things and giving her abuse and claimed she had smacked him in the face before he grabbed her around the throat for between 15 to 20 seconds.’

Merrett was jailed for 15 months for the assaults, which Judge Simon James described as ‘frankly unforgivable, disgraceful and cowardly.’

He told Merrett: ‘You punched your young child in the face, causing bruising.

‘Violence against a child of his age is frankly unforgivable.

‘It was a disgraceful and cowardly act. It was your job to protect your child, not subject him to violence.’