TWO thugs have been jailed after trying to ‘gouge’ a man’s eye out in ‘the worst case of ABH’ a judge has ‘ever seen’.

Arren Tomkins of Cockroft Road, Didcot, and Luke Jarvis of Barnett Road, Abingdon, ‘dragged’ a man into a blue Mini on the evening of March 23 last year, a few days before the first national lockdown.

He was ‘bundled’ into the car before being strangled and assaulted with glass bottles.

At Oxford Crown Court yesterday for the pair’s sentencing, prosecutor Siobhan Molloy said the victim also saw a spoon he thought they would ‘use to extract’ drugs from him.

It was only when he managed to open the door and ‘hang out of it’ screaming 'help' that the police raced to his rescue.

One police officer described his injuries as ‘horrific’ with pictures showing multiple cuts and swollen eyes.

Tomkins, 32, was driving the car which was seized when officers also discovered he had no insurance.

In an interview he remained silent and Jarvis, 31, said ‘no comment’ throughout.

Prosecuting yesterday, Ms Malloy said it was a ‘category 1 offence’ because the victim was ‘bottled and strangled’ and the duo ‘intended to cause more serious harm than resulted’.

Luke Jarvis (left) and Arren Tomkins (right). Pictures: Thames Valley Police

Luke Jarvis (left) and Arren Tomkins (right). Pictures: Thames Valley Police

She said Jarvis had 30 previous convictions including robbery and possession of a knife and Tomkins has 22 previous convictions including assaulting police officers.

Defending Jarvis, who appeared over video link from prison in a grey shirt, Michael Gould said the crime was committed when his life was ‘spiralling out of control’.

He said: “He was in the grips of a drug addiction and he has made significant progress in prison His life was very different.”

He said that Jarvis was now working to study theology at a college in Dorset that ‘often takes applicants with difficult backgrounds’.

He added: “He is taking it very seriously. He wants to do youth and community work so he can use his background to help people who are going down the path he went down.”

On behalf of Tomkins, who appeared in the dock dressed in blue jeans and a grey jumper, Lucy Tapper said he was ‘genuinely remorseful’, adding: “He is deeply ashamed for a number of reasons.

“The 23rd was a manifestation of his self-destruction.”

She said that his previous convictions were when he was a ‘juvenile’ more than six years ago and that this crime was committed in the wake of a break down of a 17-year relationship.

Following the offence he moved in with his sister and signed up to a different GP surgery and after ‘years’ of asking for help and being told to ‘get on with it for children’s sakes’ he was listened to and has been diagnosed with personality disorders.

She explained: “It is sad that it has taken this long but all too regularly people fall between the cracks and don’t get the help they need.”

She said he was ‘utterly’ committed to his family and had not committed any crimes since March. She even said the tagging company called him up to ‘check he was okay’ because he hadn’t even left his house.

She said: “Mr Tomkins is a family man who behaved very badly a year ago.”

Judge Nigel Daly.

Judge Nigel Daly.

Sentencing them both, Judge Daly said: “Mr Jarvis and Mr Tomkins, you were originally charged with kidnap but it is my understanding that the reliability of a witness was the reason this is ABH.

“There is no doubt that this happened and I see that because I have photos. This was an assault with glass bottles used.

“The complainant was throttled and an attempt was made to gouge out his eye.

“It is one of the most serious ABH I have ever seen. I am surprised it is not a section 18.

“This injury was serious and undoubtedly a sustained assault. It was quite clearly with drugs, weapons were used and there was intention to commit more serious harm.”

He added: “You are a risk and danger to the public.

“It may well be that you have changed but your attack on this man requires a custodial sentence. I’m not going to suspend it.”

He jailed them for 27 months each but reduced time for their guilty pleas, mitigation factors and the current coronavirus situations in prison with offenders being locked up for 23 hours a day. He said they would spend 24 months in prison each which will be reduced by the time they have already been jailed.