May 2022

Jail for Tunbridge Wells man John Kirby who threatened to bury partner

A man who pushed his pregnant partner down a flight of stairs has been jailed following a horrific campaign of abuse.

John Kirby, from Tunbridge Wells, tormented his partner with relentless physical and mental abuse lasting over a 18 month period

He threatened to murder and bury her and regularly beat her, punching and kicking her in the head and dragging her by the hair.

In one incident the 42-year-old pushed his victim down the stairs while she was pregnant and then throttled her with his hands, causing her to lose consciousness.

Kirby would spit at the victim and prevent her from leaving the house by locking the property and hiding her car keys.

He would demand to know who she had been speaking to, while mental torment also included destroying her clothes and throwing food at her face.

He was initially arrested in August 2019, following a violent outburst in front of a young child.

He and the victim had been travelling by car in Wye, near Ashford, when Kirby threw chips at her while she was driving and then punched her in the face.

When the car stopped, he pushed the victim to the floor and repeatedly kicked her, in front of the child.

A Kent Police investigation would lead officers to uncover the true scale of Kirby’s abusive behaviour.

In recordings secretly made on the victim’s phone, her tormentor could be heard threatening to burn her with hair straighteners and making threats to kill her by suffocation, with Kirby bragging he would then bury her in his garden.

Appearing before Maidstone Crown Court, Kirby pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm and four counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Two further charges linked to an assault and with engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour were ordered by the court to lie on file.

On May 13, Kirby, of Still Lane, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, was sentenced to four years and six months’ imprisonment.

Upon his release from prison, he will also be subject to a restraining order.