He left his ex-girlfriend bleeding and terrified after attacking her with a chainsaw

A serial domestic abuser walked free from court after attacking his former girlfriend with a chainsaw. William Brown left his ex-partner bleeding and terrified last July in a vicious attack at her home in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Prosecutor Bethan Evans said Brown, 61, had been in an "on and off" relationship with the victim for two and a half years. He went to her Boverton home on the morning of July 7 last year to help with her renovation of the property.

"While at the address there was an argument, and the reason was she had told him she wanted to end the relationship and just be friends," Ms Evans told the court. "He did not respond well and began to make abusive comments."

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The victim asked Brown to leave and said she would pack up his belongings. He then grabbed her by her left bicep and squeezed tightly. As she walked downstairs to call police he grabbed her painfully by her right wrist.

He then went into her garage and she followed to make sure he was leaving. "While in there he picked up a chainsaw and swung it towards her," said Ms Evans. "He struck her on the back of her leg, causing her to bleed immediately. He did not apologise at any stage and continued calling her a c***."

Ms Evans said the chainsaw was not turned on at the time, but the woman needed treatment in A&E where Steri-Strips were used to close the cut at the back of her leg. Brown started sobbing in court as a statement from the victim was read out.

William Brown leaves Cardiff Crown Court after being spared jail
William Brown leaves Cardiff Crown Court -Credit:Conor Gogarty

"It's hard to find the words to comprehend how much this incident has affected me emotionally," she said. "I have constant sleepless nights where my head will go over the events. I now have to live with a scar which is a physical reminder of the trauma. The person I trusted and loved decided to hurt me in this way. I have kept myself isolated in my home since this incident in fear of William finding me."

Brown, of Esgid Mair in Barry, pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm (ABH). The court heard he had 36 previous offences on his record including a battery of the same victim, as well as offences of harassment, one of which was domestic.

His barrister Hannah Friedman said: "He has significant injuries, mobility issues, he is sight-impaired and often wears two pairs of glasses as his vision is so weak. He has Type 2 diabetes which is linked to vascular issues, and he has functioning neurological disorder.

"Most significantly he is being tested for both Alzheimer's and dementia. I have met him a few times over the last year and there is a clear decline in his memory loss and health. I in no way wish to embarrass Mr Brown but there are conversations between me and him which he cannot remember."

Ms Friedman added that her client is medicated for depression and has in recent years lost his mother, two uncles, an aunt, and his younger brother. She said he is supported by his four children and 11 grandchildren.

The judge, Recorder David Warner, took into account the defendant's health issues and the probation service's conclusion that he would benefit from a community order. He noted the previous battery of the same woman and told Brown that the victim "ought to have been able to feel safe and secure" at home.

But the judge said custody would not be appropriate and imposed a 22-month community order with a rehabilitation requirement of 25 days including a 'building better relationships' programme. He initially ordered Brown to cover the prosecution costs of £1,630 but Ms Friedman then pointed out her client had "very limited means" and relied on benefits.

The judge said Brown would only have to cover £300 of the prosecution costs at a rate of £20 a month. He also told Brown to pay a £114 surcharge and imposed a five-year restraining order. When we approached Brown as he left court on crutches, he declined to apologise for his actions or to comment beyond saying: "You're not aware of what happened so I can't tell you."