A MAN has been jailed for six years for striking a teenage girl with a piece of wood in a late night attack in Bakewell.
David Griffith, 20, of Burre Close in Bakewell, hit Mary-ann Gow twice in the head with the fence panel, during the attack on Butts Road, last July.
Derby Crown Court heard on Wednesday April 13, that Griffith then forced Miss Gow against a wall and threatened to kill her.
Miss Gow, who was walking home from work at the Peacock Pub, suffered a one and a half centimetre cut to her scalp, bruising to her head and jaw and grazes to her hand.
Derby Crown Court heard on Wednesday April 13, that Miss Gow spent her childhood in a wheelchair after suffering problems with her knees and had only recently been able to walk without the aid of crutches but was still unstable on her feet.
Judge Andrew Hamilton said: “I can only imagine what this poor girl was going through. It must have been the most appalling incident as far as she was concerned.”
Sara Slater, prosecuting, said Miss Gow still suffered from bad headaches, tingles and nerve damage in her head. She had suffered from depression and flashbacks since the attack, had lost a third of her body weight, feared going out alone and had been forced to give up her job.
Griffith initially denied the attack but a police search found a Tee-shirt covered in Miss Gow’s blood hidden beneath his bed.
Jennifer Blewitt, defending, said Griffith had no previous convictions and said character referees who spoke highly of him, had described their shock that he should be before the court.
On jailing him Judge Hamilton said: “This is an exceptional case. I don’t recall a case where a man met a girl walking along a dark park lane alone, hit her and threatened to kill her and take her somewhere else and this a man of good character. Because he will give no reason why he did this he does remain a very serious risk to the public.”
Doctors’ reports said Griffith should not be released until he could accept what he had done and given an explanation.
Investigating officer Derek Ellis, of Matlock CID, said: “This was a serious attack on a young, vulnerable girl. We welcome the sentence and back the judges comments. “I would like to give praise to Mary-ann and her mum Kirsty Marsden for the courage they have shown throughout the investigation.”