Rider jailed for ex-jockey assault
One of the Queen's horse riders has been jailed after attacking an ex-jockey in a jealous rage.
Jonathan Nolan, 32, who is a work rider for royal trainer Sir Michael Stoute, battered former jockey-turned-PR director John Maxse after confronting him in Newmarket, Suffolk, considered the global centre of thoroughbred horse racing. When police arrived, Nolan was so covered in Mr Maxse's blood that police thought he had himself been the victim of a serious assault.
Judge Rupert Overbury jailed him for four years at Ipswich Crown Court, after he admitted grievous bodily harm with intent. He said: "You carried out a vicious, sustained and unprovoked attack. Simply by using your hands and feet you left Mr Maxse looking like the victim of a road traffic accident."
The court heard that Nolan had objected to Mr Maxse's friendship with his ex-girlfriend, Genevieve Hippisley. Miss Hippisley, the mother of Nolan's three-year-old daughter, watched helplessly as the five-minute attack took place at her home in Corsican Pine Close at 11.30pm on July 21. One police officer said Mr Maxse's injuries were the most shocking he had seen.
Prosecutor Richard Kelly told the court that Nolan and Miss Hippisley, 26, had broken up after a long relationship. Since the break-up they had seen each other on and off and Nolan had made it clear he was unhappy that she was friends with Mr Maxse. Earlier on the day of the attack, she sent him a text message saying: "I have tried not to hurt you but you and me are over now."
The prosecutor described how Nolan arrived at his ex-girlfriend's home that night and found Mr Maxse sitting on the sofa.
"He strode past Miss Hippisley and said something like 'how could you or how dare you' before repeatedly punching Mr Maxse," Mr Kelly said. "He continued to punch him in the face with Mr Maxse putting up an arm to protect himself."
Mr Kelly said that 5ft 6in Mr Maxse stood little chance against Nolan, who is 6ft 1in and athletically built.
Nolan kicked Mr Maxse several times as he lay on the floor then chased him on to the pavement outside where he continued the attack. The victim was left with a broken nose, fractured eye socket and fractured cheekbone. Miss Hippisley raised the alarm and police arrived to arrest Nolan at the scene.
Nolan, of Skeaping Close, Newmarket, looked composed as sentence was passed. As she left court in tears, Miss Hippisley declined to comment.