Teen girl whipped with belt

Judge Ian Pringle

Judge Ian Pringle

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter. Call me on (01865) 425373

A BUILDER has avoided jail after whipping a teenage girl with a belt buckle and throwing a television set on to her foot.

Florinel Plugaru, of Blackbird Leys Road, Blackbird Leys, admitted two counts of child cruelty and received a suspended sentence in Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday.

Hugh Williams, prosecuting, said the charges related to two occasions when the 39-year-old “wilfully assaulted” a girl who cannot be named for legal reasons.

He told Judge Ian Pringle the crimes took place between December 2009 and June last year in the Oxford area.

Mr Williams said on the first occasion Plugaru wrapped a piece of elastic with hooks on it around the girl’s head and mouth so she could not cry out.

He said: “He hit her with a belt to the face, using it so the buckle hit her in the eye. She was left with a black eye and couldn’t go out for a week.

“The prosecution would say that she was very lucky not to be more seriously injured.”

He said the next incident took place on June 22 last year when Plugaru grabbed his victim by the hair, bit her face and threw a TV at her, striking her foot. Timothy Greaves, defending, said his client had been very drunk on both occasions and deeply regretted his actions.

He said: “When these offences were committed he was so intoxicated, so out of control, that he could not recall exactly what he had done.”

Judge Pringle said the attacks were “shocking” and easily passed the threshold for custody, but he had received a letter from the complainant asking him not to jail Plugaru.

He said: “You committed these offences because you drank to excess. If you can’t stop drinking to excess, do not drink alcohol at all.”

Plugaru was sentenced to an 18-month prison term, suspended for two years, with 180 hours of unpaid work and a supervision requirement. The defendant was also told to pay £510 costs and a £100 victims’ surcharge.

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