East Lancs man who threatened to kill teen girlfriend on Valentine’s Day branded 'evil'

Carla Wilkinson has recovered from her ordeal

Christopher Horsfall

First published in News
Last updated

A TEENAGER whose boyfriend repeatedly punched her in the face and threatened to kill her on Valentine’s Day has described her attacker as ‘evil’.

Carla Wilkinson was left bleeding and bruised after a sustained vicious attack by drug addict Christopher Horsfall.

During the assault she was also kneed in the head, hit in the stomach, pulled by the hair and flung into a chair.

Horsfall, of Swallow Park, Burnley was jailed for 17 months after admitting assault by beating, putting a person in fear of violence and breaching a restraining order at the town’s court.

But Judge Beverley Lunt hit out at the fact he had only been charged with common assault, instead of a more serious charge.

The judge, who had been shown a picture of Ms Wilkinson's eye injuries, said: "On what planet is that a section 39 assault?"

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Speaking exclusively to the Lancashire Telegraph after the case 19-year-old Miss Wilkinson said she had been terrified of Horsfall.

Burnley and Pendle Citizen:

She said: "I’m so glad he’s been put in prison where he can’t do this to anyone. I’m never going to go back to him. I feel safe for the time being, but I’m scared that he’ll just do it again when he gets out.

"I’ve moved away from all my friends and my family so he can’t find me. A leopard doesn’t change its spots and he will always be an evil man.

"I was terrified of him. He isolated me from my friends and family and would threaten to kill them if I left his sight.

“I didn’t want him to carry on making their lives a misery so I did what he said.

"I couldn’t talk or eat for days after the attack. He wouldn’t let me go to the hospital, so it wasn’t until I escaped to my dad’s house in March that my grandma took me to Burnley General and they found a hairline fracture in my skull.

“My nose had been broken and healed itself. When I read back my statement to the police it sounded like a horror story.”

Horsfall, 22, a heroin addict who has almost 70 offences on his record, also weilded a hammer and threatened to paralyse her, the court had heard.

Judge Lunt, who said the maximum for common assault was six months, told the hearing the violence had been undercharged and should have been an assault causing actual bodily harm, which carried a maximum of five years. She said: "It’s ridiculous."

Horsfall was imprisoned in March 2013 for two counts of battery against Miss Wilkinson, and released last November, the court heard. The pair then reconciled.

On February 6, she was at a house in Colne and the defendant turned up, wanting cash for heroin.

He was jealous two men were there. He got angry, hit her in the face, tied her dog, Peaches, to a fence so it couldn't attack him, kicked her, took her phone so she couldn't call the police and struck her with the dog lead.

On February 10, Horsfall had phoned the victim late at night, saying he had a knife to her cousin's throat. He threatened to kill her family and Peaches.

The prosecutor said: "At one stage Miss Wilkinson could hear her dog squealing down the phone. The defendant told her he had two dirty needles and a knife and if the police arrived, Peaches would be dead."

The prosecutor said by February 14, the couple were reconciled. Miss Wilkinson got back from work and Horsfall was there, under the influence of drugs.

They argued, she got a taxi, intending to leave and the defendant got in and pushed her out and attacked her in her home.

Richard Taylor, defending, said Horsfall acknowledged his failings.

Sentencing, Judge Lunt told Horsfall: "This was absolutely nasty behaviour. It has left her very shocked and terrified of you. You show a worrying lack of remorse, lack of understanding of your actual criminality and still seek to blame her."

A CPS Spokesperson said: “In cases involving assaults, there may be more than one charge that could apply to the circumstances in which the offence occurred.

"In order to ensure consistency in choosing the most appropriate charge to fit the circumstances of the offence, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service have nationally agreed charging standards that police officers and Crown Prosecutors should apply.

“In reaching our decision to charge Christopher Horsfall with assault by beating, we took into account the charging standards and charged him with the most appropriate charge.”

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