AN angry Warwick man callously poured a kettle of boiling water over his terrified girlfriend after pulling her back from a window where she had desperately been trying to get help.
Marcus Tatana was jailed for five years after a judge described the kettle as ‘a fearsome weapon’ which had left his victim with permanent scarring.
Tatana, aged 29, of Wallwin Court, Friars Street, Warwick, had denied inflicting grievous bodily harm on his 21-year-old girlfriend with intent to cause her serious injury.
But the jury at Warwick Crown Court took less than two hours to reject his claim that the terrible injury had been caused by him accidentally spilling a cup of tea.
Prosecutor Richard Witcombe said that on 12th September last year four schoolgirls were walking home along Friars Street when they saw Tatana’s girlfriend at the window of his ground floor flat.
She was shaking, crying and opened the window and asked one of the 12-year-old girls if she could use her phone to call her mum, and was handed the phone but could get no reply.
Tatana then appeared, and the girls heard him demanding: “Why are you calling your mum? She’s not going to do anything.”
The girlfriend cried out to the girls that she needed help and to call the police as Tatana pushed her, causing her to fall against the window, and then pulled her back into the room.
As he then shut the window and closed the blinds, the concerned schoolgirls called the police.
Before they arrived Tatana left the flat, and when the girlfriend then came out, one of the girls noticed blood on her feet and that she was shaking and crying.
When the police then arrived, they took the woman straight to Warwick Hospital.
She had an 11cm by 8cm burn and blistering to the back of her left leg which had been caused by scalding liquid which has left her with permanent scaring.
Mr Witcombe said that at the time the girlfriend had been in a relationship with Tatana for about three months, and she had moved into his flat, but he had then become abusive towards her.
On that day she had been sleeping in rather late
when he had woken her during the afternoon and began shouting at her, before leaving the room.
“She became scared, and she was scared for good reason. She felt she had had enough and wanted to leave. She wanted to call her mum, but didn’t have the credit on her phone,” said Mr Witcombe.
After opening the window she burst into tears because she couldn’t open it wide enough to get out, and it was then that she had spoken to the schoolgirls.
“Tatana returned to the room, and he had with him a kettle from the kitchen. He pulled her backwards towards the bed and poured water that was boiling over her, including to the back of her left leg, causing a burn and blistering.
“The girlfriend then went as if to pack her things, and in the moment that followed that, he threw a red candle at her, and burning wax landed in her hair.”
It was alleged that Tatana has assaulted her on an earlier occasion and damaged her clothes by spraying paint on them – but he was found not guilty of those charges.
Tatana made no comment when he was interviewed, but during the trial he claimed he and his girlfriend had argued and that she had ‘dangled herself out of the window.’
He claimed that, fearing she would fall, he had tried to grab her while holding a cup of tea, and had accidentally spilled it on her.
After the jury had rejected that explanation, Tatana’s barrister Mark Gatley submitted that there was no evidence he had deliberately boiled the kettle intending to cause the injury, adding that it had been ‘an isolated incident.’
Jailing Tatana, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him: “The victim describes the huge effect this has had on her. She had to have two months off work, and her scars persist.
“I find you lost your temper, as you were wont to do. You went from the room and took up a kettle you knew contained scalding water, and you carried that as someone else would carry a weapon.
“You carried it towards that young woman as she sought assistance from those young girls. You pulled her back from the window, and you closed the curtains and you hurled the kettle full of water over her.
“That was a callous, cruel and serious act. You used a weapon, and a fearsome weapon at that.
“I find you intended to commit more serious harm than was actually occasioned. But in the light of the jury’s verdicts, I have to find this was an isolated incident in your relationship.”