Woman left disfigured after attack by man she met on Facebook

Newcastle Crown Court. Picture c/o Google Images.

Newcastle Crown Court. Picture c/o Google Images.

A woman's face is still painfully swollen more than six months after she was punched in the head by a man she met on Facebook.

The university worker has been left "disfigured" by the heavy blow thrown by Gary Clews.

Newcastle Crown Court heard after the violent explosion, Clews, 25, told his victim "look what you've made me do".

She has now suffered months of pain and embarrassment as a result of the attack.

Prosecutor Stuart Graham told the court the pair had met just over a week before the assault last October, over the social networking site.

He spent the night at her home and the pair were drinking but early the next morning an argument erupted about him starting to become "possessive" towards her.

The court heard the angry words let to Clews putting his hands around his victim's throat.

Mr Graham told the court: "She was trying to take the pressure off her neck, panicking, she pushed her head forward and connected with his lip or nose.

"He immediately threw a punch to the right side of her head and said 'look what you've made me do'."

The court heard the victim's face "instantly" started to swell.

Mr Graham told the court: "Since being assaulted, her face where she was punched, on the right side, has been disfigured.

"It took two months for the swelling to start going down and it is still swollen."

The injured woman said in a victim statement: "Every time I look in the mirror I can see my swollen face, that reminds me of what happened."

The court heard just two days after the attack, Clews punched his girlfriend Amy Burns in the face when he saw her sitting in a van with another man.

Clews also attacked the other man and his mum when he turned up at their home armed with a metal bar.

Both were left injured and bruised.

Clews, of Winlow, Beacon Lough, Gateshead, admitted three charges of assault causing bodily harm, common assault and pleaded guilty to an unrelated burglary.

Judge Penny Moreland sentenced him to a total of four years behind bars.

In relation to the attack on the Facebook friend, Judge Moreland told him: "I have seen the photographs of what you did to her.

"Her victim impact statement statement suggests persistent swelling and pain, six months after you punched her."

The judge made restraining orders to keep Clews away from his victims, apart from Miss Burns, for life.

Rachel Hedworth, defending, said Clews has reconciled with Miss Burns, his partner of two years.

Miss Hedworth added: "His explanation for the spate of offending was that he had once again taken a load of valium tablets, combined with vodka."

Miss Hedworth said Clews is remorseful for his behaviour and "wants to turn his life around".