Luton thug jailed 18 months after forcing thumb into woman's eye

A "vicious" thug who went on the run after forcing his thumb into a woman eye socket in Luton has been jailed for 18 months.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 4:59 pm
Updated Monday, 24th May 2021, 5:11 pm
John Cole has been jailed for 18 months over the attack

John Cole, 54, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment on Friday, May 21, at Luton Crown Court.

Cole, who is described as six foot tall and of "stocky build", pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent after the incident - which has left the victim with some permanent sight loss.

At the woman’s home in Luton on the morning of April 7 last year, a heated argument broke out between the pair, and Cole forced his thumb into the woman’s left eye.

The attack caused a serious injury that required immediate medical attention, followed by several further surgeries.

After dropping the victim off at Luton and Dunstable Hospital, Cole fled - leading to numerous police appeals to trace him.

Officers from Bedfordshire Police launched an extensive manhunt to find Cole, including wide media coverage which included a report on BBC One’s Crimewatch Roadshow programme.

On November 28, acting on a tip-off, Cole was arrested by officers at an address in Luton, and charged and remanded at Luton Magistrates’ Court two days later.

Detective Sergeant Matt Stonnell said: “This was a vicious assault, which resulted in the victim suffering some permanent sight loss and ongoing treatment.

“Cole then evaded police for some months, rather than own up to what he had done, and face the consequences of his brutal action.

“He has now been brought to account, and this demonstrates we will do all we can to apprehend a violent offender.”

If you are a victim of violence, or are concerned for someone else, call the police on 101. If a crime is in progress, or in if someone is in danger, always call 999.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.