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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Cumbrian man who knocked out woman's teeth spared prison

A man who pushed a woman so hard into a metal post that three of her teeth were knocked out has avoided prison.

Related: Attack victim faces £8,000 cosmetic surgery bill

William Ritchie, 21, of Grasmere Avenue, Workington, was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years at Carlisle Crown Court.

He pleaded guilty at a separate hearing on Monday to assault occasioning grievous bodily harm following the incident on November 30 last year.

The court heard Ritchie, a “powerfully-built young man”, had been involved in an argument with the victim’s boyfriend during a night out in Cockermouth.

The victim approached the pair to get them to calm down when Ritchie pushed her with “such force” she was sent face first into a metal sign post. Three of her top front teeth were removed, including the roots.

Ritchie then made off “at speed” and got a taxi home, the court heard.

His guilty plea was later accepted on the basis that his push was reckless and he was unaware as to the extent of the woman’s injuries.

In her statement the victim described her daily pain and how she couldn’t bear to look at herself in the mirror. Her ability to eat and drink was also affected and she is ‘sick’ of taking painkillers and the constant discomfort. The cost of permanent implants would be at least £6,000.

Greg Hoare, defending, said Ritchie is an “otherwise hard-working, decent young man” who went through a period of bad behaviour between the ages of 19 and 21.

He added that Ritchie feels a great deal of “remorse and regret”.

Judge, Mr Recorder Lowe, told Ritchie the victim is now forced to live with the consequences of the assault every day.

On top of the prison sentence, Ritchie was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and to pay £1,000 compensation and a victim surcharge of £100.

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