An arsonist from Headcorn who assaulted a woman and then set fire to her car has been jailed.
Joseph Wenham left his victim suffering serious facial injuries after pouring a drink over her head and then punching her, during an unprovoked attack on 11 August 2019.
Just weeks later, on 30 September, he targeted her vehicle, which was parked in an area off Busbridge Road, Loose. It was set alight and completely destroyed. Police attended and identified Wenham as the suspect. A short time later an officer in a marked patrol car spotted him driving in the Ulcombe area. The officer activated blue lights and sirens and instructed Wenham to stop. He fled the scene and in a bid to evade capture drove at speeds of up to 90mph through rural lanes.
Wenham’s car was found abandoned in Headcorn Road, where he then tried to escape on foot but was arrested after being found hiding in brambles. During police interview the 50-year-old denied any wrong doing. He claimed the victim’s injuries must have been a result of her falling over and also denied being involved with the arson.
Wenham, of Headcorn Road, Ulcombe, was charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm, arson, dangerous driving and failing to stop for police when required to do so.
He pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and on Wednesday 29 January 2020 was sentenced to two years and six months’ imprisonment.
He was also disqualified from driving for two years and three months.
PC Phil Crowhurst, of the West Kent Vulnerable Investigation Team said: ‘Wenham’s victim was the subject of repeated harassment and unwelcome attention, during which time she was subjected to a violent and unprovoked assault, leading to injuries which are likely to have a lasting impact. The arson offence further demonstrated Wenham’s volatile and dangerous behaviour and the risks he posed. I hope the victim can take assurance from the custodial sentence that has been passed and would like to thank her for her support and courage in coming forward, which has helped us ensure a successful investigation.’