A “controlling” and “dangerous” serial domestic abuser has been handed a life sentence for attacking his girlfriend and killing her unborn child.
Asa Davison, 35, was told he would serve a minimum of 12 years behind bars before being considered for parole because of his “violent” and “manipulative” personality, which meant he posed a danger to the public, particularly to future partners.
The court heard Davidson had also been violent towards previous partners, including attacking one while she was pregnant.
Davison, from Gillingham, was found guilty of child destruction, inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent (GBH), actual bodily harm (ABH) and perverting the course of justice following a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court in November last year.
At the sentencing hearing on Thursday he represented himself, having dismissed his defence counsel, and told the judge, Johannah Cutts, he was a “peaceful and kind person”.
‘A controlling man, who is quick to anger and violence’
Judge Cutts said she rejected that statement and the evidence he had given during the trial that he only sought to help and support the victim.
“You were no knight on a white charger. You are a controlling man who is quick to anger and violence, as she discovered at her cost,” Judge Cutts said.
The court heard how Davison had offered the woman a place to stay, saying he disliked the way she was being treated by her then partner. Shortly afterwards, they became a couple.
The woman then found out she was pregnant with her former partner’s child.
While Davison remained in a relationship with her, his “resentment simmered”, the judge said.
On the night of May 29 2020 Davison and the woman, who was seven months pregnant, were in Gillingham town centre when she was caught on CCTV running away from him.
Davison was then seen on his bicycle looking for her and he followed her to a block of flats in the town.
“You followed her there, not, I find, to make sure she was all right but to punish her,” Judge Cutts said.
“In all probability it was in the stairwell of those flats that you assaulted her and she was later found with swelling to her forehead, bruising to her upper arms, a fracture to her eye socket and fractures to her nasal bone.
“But it was not only her that you hurt. There was another victim of your violent and callous offending. Bruising was found to her pregnant abdomen in the shape of a fist. Her baby died as a result.”
Despite Davison being told not to contact her, the woman began once again living with him.
In September that year, he assaulted his partner again. This time she ran bloodied to a nearby community centre, where she was helped by members of the public and the police.
When he was arrested, he went on to pervert the course of justice by making recorded phone calls to her from prison encouraging her to make a false statement to the police.
‘I have no hesitation in finding you dangerous’
The court heard how Davison had been violent to previous partners, including kicking one ex-girlfriend in the stomach while she was pregnant and threatening her with a knife. He had also broken the eye sockets of two former partners.
Judge Cutts said: “You, upon whom as her partner she was entitled to rely for love and support, caused her injury on more than one occasion, physical pain and forced her to give birth to a dead child.”
She said a pre-sentence report had described Davison’s behaviour towards the victim and other ex-partners as “violent, manipulative and grooming in nature”, adding: “I have no hesitation in finding you dangerous.”
Davison walked out of the room in which he was appearing via video link as he received a life sentence for child destruction, and concurrent sentences of six years, two years, and two years for the remaining counts.
Kate Lewis, CPS Wessex District Crown Prosecutor, said: “Right from the very beginning of this heart-breaking case, the CPS worked closely with the police to make sure there was a strong prosecution case. The evidence of witnesses, CCTV, medical professionals and mobile phone data meant that we were able to prove that Davison set out to attack his partner and cause the death of her child.
“Davison is a serial domestic abuser, whose violence caused the tragic death of an unborn baby. It is absolutely devastating to know that a baby, still entirely dependent on its mother, died at the hands of such a violent attacker.
“We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable people in our society by ensuring that violent perpetrators are brought to justice.”
Detective Inspector Neil Third, of Dorset Police, said: “This was a truly horrific domestic assault by Asa Davison that sadly had tragic consequences as it resulted in his victim losing her unborn child.
“I hope this case demonstrates that we will do all we can to identify offenders who commit domestic abuse offences and ensure they are brought before the courts to face the consequences of their actions.”
The Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge on 0808 2000 247 offers support for women affected by domestic abuse
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