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Boyfriend jailed over Walsall balcony fall

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

A man who attacked his partner with an ornament before she plunged from the balcony of a third floor flat in Walsall has been jailed for three-and a-half years.

Michael Riggon had been charged with the attempted murder of Kayli Hill, who fractured her back, pelvis, ribs and wrist following the fall outside Wood House in Little London in February.

But on the third day of a trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court yesterday, the charge was dropped and Riggon, aged 53, admitted causing grievous bodily harm to Miss Hill.

Miss Hill, who had given evidence to the jury, was attacked with a 'sizeable and robust' ornament by Riggon before she went on the balcony and fell.

She suffered a lacerated lung and needed emergency surgery to save the sight of one eye. Miss Hill, 28, had come under scrutiny after it emerged in court she had initially told police Riggon was trying to save her when she fell.

Judge Burbidge said Riggon would likely have faced 20 years behind bars if he had been found guilty of attempted murder. Judge James Burbidge suggested that a lack of evidence forced the trial to be halted.

He said: "It is disconcerting that such a matter should be turned at the last minute for all sorts of reasons, not least evidential."

But the judge said he had no doubt Riggon's violent actions on February 27 forced Miss Hill onto the balcony. The court heard he had 129 previous convictions, seven of which were violent crimes against women.

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The balcony which Kayli Hill fell from

The court heard the pair, who had been dating for seven months, began arguing after Miss Hill discovered another woman had been at the flat without her knowledge.

Addressing Riggon before jailing him, Judge Burbidge said: "There was an argument between you, she sought to leave and you didn't want her to. There was an explosion of violence from you, sustained violence, you sadly reverted to type.

The scene at Wood House block of flats following the fall

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"You grabbed her lips and pulled them, saying she had kissed other men. You then proceeded to hit her with a sizeable and robust ornament, which caused a significant laceration to her head.

"She (Miss Hill) was that scared that she felt compelled to get onto the balcony."

Riggon, of West Bromwich Street, Caldmore, must serve at least half of his sentence. He was served with a restraining order banning direct contact with Miss Hill.

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