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Woman felt her skin peel away after thug boyfriend smashed mug across her face

A woman felt her skin peel away in a ‘ terrifying’ attack ‘ after her boyfriend smashed a mug across her face.

Paul Cave slashed his partner’s right cheek open before fleeing from her Southport home rather than call an ambulance.

The woman called 999 herself and was taken to hospital, where Cave turned up to say how “sorry” he was before issuing a sinister threat, Liverpool Echo reports.

Kenneth Grant, prosecuting, said: “He also said that if she cooperated with the police, he would have her shot.”

The 46-year-old of no fixed address but from Liverpool, admitted wounding and was due to be sentenced last month.

But prosecutors said the woman had taken an overdose, which left her in an intensive care unit and unable to sign off a victim personal statement.

Mr Grant today summarised the harrowing document, in which the victim, who the ECHO has chosen not to name, described their “toxic” two-year relationship.

He said: “She says the incident when she was struck with the mug was the most terrifying experience of her life.

“She describes how she felt the skin peel away from her face and the sight of the blood scared her.”

Liverpool Crown Court heard the couple were drinking together in the early hours of Monday, October 26 last year.

Judge Garrett Byrne told Cave: “You punched and headbutted a wall in your temper. You were clearly drunk.

“She tried to calm you down, you called her a slut and then took hold of a mug and broke it across her face, causing a deep 5cm cut to her cheek, which required stitches. I’ve seen photographs of the injury – it’s a serious injury indeed.

Paul Cave broke a mug across his girlfriend’s face slashing her cheek open

“You visited her in hospital, but rather than comfort her, you threatened her with more violence if she called the police.”

The victim, who was also treated for two “superficial” 1cm wounds to her right eyebrow, said she thought “she would be disfigured for life” and still has a clearly visible scar to her cheek, even when she covers it with make-up.

Mr Grant said: “She feels ashamed and embarrassed when people refer to the mark and when the injury is mentioned, she is transported back to the incident and she lives through it again.

“Now that the Coronavirus restrictions are being lifted she has begun to see people who have not seen her for some time and she has to explain what happened. She thinks this is a vicious circle and it makes her not want to leave her home.”

The victim has to be careful washing the wound, which still hurts, is hesitant about new relationships and her confidence has been “shot to pieces”.

Woman felt her skin peel away after thug boyfriend smashed mug across her face
Paul Cave has a history of battering women

Cave, who initially denied any wrongdoing and claimed she must have “fell over”, has been in custody since last November.

His 22 previous convictions for 50 offences included assault causing actual bodily harm against another ex-girlfriend in November 2018.

He breached a suspended sentence imposed for that attack by assaulting a female friend of his latest victim, leading to him being jailed for nine months in November 2019.

Claire Jones, defending, said Cave didn’t have any domestic violence on his record until 2018 and “drugs and alcohol” were the “root” cause of these offences.

She said the author of a pre-sentence report believed it related “to poor decision making” and the “disinhibiting effect” particularly cocaine and alcohol “had on his responses, reactions and his behaviour in relationships from 2018 onwards”.

Woman felt her skin peel away after thug boyfriend smashed mug across her face
Paul Cave from Liverpool but of no fixed address

Ms Jones said Cave turned to drugs in 2015 due to “business related issues” and described himself how he “lost direction”.

She said “from both sides” there was an acceptance the couple’s relationship was “toxic to say the least”, adding: “Unfortunately in many relationships of that type, people are drawn back to each other, against all sense and logic.”

Ms Jones said Cave had started a different relationship after he was last released from prison, which was “going well” until his victim “was drawn to him again and unfortunately for both of them that relationship resumed”.

The lawyer said Cave welcomed an indefinite restraining order made by Judge Byrne to protect the woman.

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She said: “He appreciates everyone needs to move on. He feels he needs to address his demons to ensure he doesn’t behave this way in future relationships.”

Ms Jones said Cave had since “rekindled” a relationship with another ex, adding: “They don’t have any violence issues in their relationship. Essentially it boils down to, in his own words, there were no drugs or alcohol misuse issues in that relationship.”

Ms Jones argued against Cave being found to be “dangerous” in law and said there was only one blow with the mug.

She said: “Thankfully the complainant is able to have plastic surgery, which will go a long way to addressing how she feels at the moment about that scarring that’s been left in the intervening period.”

The maximum sentence for wounding is five years in prison.

Judge Byrne highlighted the psychological harm the victim “is clearly suffering with on an ongoing basis”.

He said the case was aggravated by Cave’s “very bad record” including his previous assaults on women but he would receive 15% credit for his guilty plea.

Judge Byrne said: “The pre-sentence report states you essentially blame the complainant and say you had been drinking at the time.”

He quoted the report, which said: “His account is characterised by denial, minimisation and victim blaming. He lacks empathy for his victim.”

Judge Byrne said: “The author of the report concludes that you are dangerous and pose a high risk of causing serious harm to the victim and potentially other women with whom you may have relationships.”

The judge found Cave was dangerous and jailed him for four years, with an extended two years on licence.

This means Cave must serve at least two thirds of his sentence – two years and eight months – behind bars, before he can apply to the Parole Board and will only be released then if he is no longer considered to be a risk.

If you have been affected by any issues mentioned in this article, you can contact the Domestic Violence Helpline for free on 0808 2000 247 or any of the following organisations:

Women’s Aid

Refuge

White Ribbon

ALICAS



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