“Man jailed for branding girlfriend while she slept”

A man in northern Spain has been sentenced to three years in prison for branding the first initial of his nickname on his girlfriend while she slept, causing her to suffer first- and second-degree burns.

Handing down the sentence, the judge in A Coruña said the branding was “in the image and likeness of what is done with livestock, and how one would treat an animal”, according to regional daily La Voz de Galicia.

The events date to 2013, when 49-year-old Antonio Ricardo Lema Sanjurjo, who goes by the nickname of Kaito, went out for a night of drinking with the victim, his girlfriend at the time. They returned to his house in the small municipality of Brens at about 3am, where he gave her a glass of orange juice and another of water before she fell asleep.

It was not until the next day that she realised what had happened, the court heard. While in the shower she felt a stinging pain and noticed that her skin was peeling. It was then that she discovered a scar in the shape of a K at the base of her spine.

It was the same kind of mark, she told the court, that Lema Sanjurjo had suggested putting on her previously. He had even shown her the cattle iron he wanted to use, but she had vehemently refused.

She alleged that he had resorted to drugging her to get his way, saying that the next day she felt as though she had been anaesthetised. While her allegations were not tested by the court, they correlated with that of the forensic doctor who told the judge it was unusual for a person to have slept through such an incident, noting that it was “obvious … that a person should realise what’s happening” when being burned in this way.

Lema Sanjurjo told the court his then-girlfriend had not spent the night at his place, an argument the judge dismissed as “ridiculous”.

In addition to the three-year prison sentence, the court ordered Lema Sanjurjo to stay at least 200 metres from the victim and forbade him from communicating with her. He was also ordered to pay her more than €16,000 (£12,000) in damages as well as reimburse the region for her healthcare costs as a result of the incident.

Both parties have appealed against the sentence. The victim has asked that Lema Sanjurjo, in addition to being tried for an offence causing injury, also be tried for an offence against moral integrity, noting that while “she was the first to seek charges against him, there are others”. Lema Sanjurjo, who maintains his innocence, has also appealed against the judgment in an attempt to clear his name.

(source)

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