Hammer attacker ‘used fake names’ in his secret past

CCTV of James Hemming after he attacked a 17-year-old girl in Portsmouth with a hammer
CCTV of James Hemming after he attacked a 17-year-old girl in Portsmouth with a hammer

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THE man jailed for 12 years after a hammer attack on a teenager he met for sex has an ‘abusive’ history, his former partner has revealed.

James Hemming, 29, used fake names on dating websites, was a ‘practised liar’ and controlled her, she claimed.

Speaking to The News after Hemming was jailed for the brutal attack in Shearer Road on April 11, his former partner said Hemming even tried to push her down stairs when he discovered that she was pregnant with his child.

At Portsmouth Crown Court on Friday, a judge said there was no evidence to explain his transformation from the ‘norm’ to a ‘violent monster’.

But his former partner, 28, who asked not to be named, said he was ‘nasty’.

‘He was mentally and verbally abusive and controlling,’ she said.

‘He seemed to have two personalities and blamed his nasty one on PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).’

She added: ‘He used to tell me what to wear, who I could spend my time with.

‘I couldn’t go out with anyone, he was constantly checking up on me, when I revealed I was pregnant he went crazy and tried to push me down some metal stairs at the train station.’

The woman said ex-soldier Hemming, of Cross Street, Portsea, used the name Jamie Hill when she knew him.

As reported, he was jailed for 12 years at Portsmouth Crown Court after admitting wounding with intent against a 17-year-old girl who he attacked with a hammer after meeting her for paid sex.

On Friday, a raft of character references were handed to the sentencing judge, including a letter from a retired detective inspector at the Metropolitan Police Service.

‘Your family and they who know you describe you as a calm, gentle man without a violent bone in your body,’ judge Sarah Munro QC told Hemming.

‘The description of you in the numerous references make this case all the more disturbing. There’s nothing in your past to explain this transformation from the norm to what can only be described as a violent monster.’

Hemming’s former partner, who spoke to The News after the sentencing hearing, said she had not reported him to police when she knew him in 2010.

Hemming has not given a motivation for attacking the girl, now 18, at a house in Fratton, claiming he does not know why he did it. It was revealed he secretly contacted prostitutes for five years.

The teenager suffered permanent brain damage after being attacked with a 16oz claw hammer. She said: ‘Every day since the attack has been a struggle.’