Burnley man smashed teenage girl’s teeth in row

Jonathan Royal (s)
Jonathan Royal (s)

A youth who smashed a girl’s teeth has been sent to a young offenders’ institution for 12 months.

Burnley Crown Court was told Jonathan Royle had a history of violence, with battery, affray and police assault on his record.

The court was told his 17-year-old victim, student Katie Lawton, had to have months of treatment for a horrible mouth injury. She had lost all her confidence, no longer went out on her own and had given up going to college because she was so bothered about her appearance.

Royle (20), of Brent Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to wounding.

Miss Sara Dodd (prosecuting) said the girl was at her friend Sophie O’Brien’s house in Leyland Road, Burnley, when the offence happened. Miss O’Brien knew Royle through Facebook, and, at 2.15am, he asked if he and his brother could go round. They arrived with two other youths, and shortly afterwards the conversation turned to discussing an assault on Miss Lawton’s brother.

“It is here where the prosecution differs with the defence,” said Miss Dodd. “There was certainly a confrontation between him and Miss Lawton. He says she grabbed his testicles and he punched her once in the face. Miss Lawton remembers nothing, apart from him being very close to her. She regained consciousness on the floor.”

After being admitted to hospital at Burnley she was transferred to Blackburn where maxillary staff splintered her teeth. One tooth was broken and another pushed back into her mouth.

Mr Philip Holden (defending) presented Judge Jonathan Gibson with a letter from Royle in which he said he was sorry for what had taken place, and that he wanted to get help for his drinking problem.

Mr Holden said Royle accepted that custody was inevitable, but asked the court to consider the time he had already spent in custody while waiting for the final outcome of the case.

Judge Gibson said Royle had lashed out, hitting the girl in the face and that her injuries were caused then or when she hit the floor. He ruled that three further allegations of police assault against Royle should be heard in the magistrates’ court and remanded him on unconditional bail from the end of his sentence.