'Reformed' criminal Luke Sewell guilty of vicious attack on girlfriend in Croydon
A youth worker and reformed armed robber who filmed a TV show about turning his back on crime faces jail for a vicious attack on his ex-girlfriend.
Luke Sewell, 24, of Lower Coombe Road, South Croydon, punched and kicked the 20-year-old in a sustained assault in the early hours of March 16 after a row about him cheating on her.
He was found guilty of the attack, in which he yanked the victim's hair so hard he left her with a bald patch, following a trial at Croydon Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.
The court heard Sewell met his victim, who the Croydon Guardian has agreed not to name, during a night out in Croydon town centre.
The 20-year-old, of Selsdon, confronted him about his relationship with another woman, sparking an argument, but agreed to let him walk her to a taxi rank.
While the two waited for a cab in High Street, Sewell attacked the victim, throwing her to the ground and punching her.
She told the court: "We were having a really bad argument and he just started to hit me. There was nothing I could do about it. He just flipped.
"He threw me across the floor and I skidded across it."
The victim, who had a two-year relationship with Sewell which she said which ended in April 2012, felt disorientated and agreed to share a taxi home with him.
He then forced the taxi driver to drop them off at his house, dragging the victim out of the car by her hair when she refused to get out.
She told the court: "I went flying across the floor. My knees were all grazed from where my jeans were ripped. He was saying 'you are f***ed, you are f***ed' and that I was going to regret it."
The court heard Sewell then threw the 20-year-old into a bush before dragging her out by her hair.
She woke up the next morning to find he her carrying her into the bathroom, where he washed twigs and mud off her.
She was bruised, scratched and her face had swollen "like a balloon".
The victim told magistrates: "I was crying my eyes out. I could not believe what had happened. I was so shocked and so scared."
She texted her mum, who came to collect her. Giving evidence in court, her mum said: "I looked through the letter box and she looked dishevelled.
"I just wanted to get her out of there. I was banging at the door and kicking at the door."
The victim's mum called the police but Sewell left through the house's back door as officers arrived, claiming he had to go to a football match.
He later texted the victim and her mum to apologise for the attack.
But on Wednesday Sewell told the court the victim had been drunk and had inflicted her injuries repeatedly falling down.
He claimed there had been a "conspiracy" to convict him of the assault, suggesting the victim had sent the apologetic texts herself and that someone had convinced a taxi driver to testify against him.
But magistrates dismissed his theory as "not credible", finding him guilty of assault after half an hour of deliberation.
He will be sentenced on October 23, with a custodial sentence among the options considered.
In November 2007, Sewell was jailed for five years for robbing a shop in South Croydon armed with a handgun.
He was released after two-and-a-half years of his sentence but was jailed months later after being convicted of causing grievous bodily harm.
But after his last spell behind bars, the 24-year-old decided to turn his back on a life of crime and began working as youth mentor warning others about the dangers of getting involved in crime.
He was the focus of a short film for ITV News on the theme of young people 'fixing' the future, but the film was dropped when the latest assault allegation emerged.
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