A ‘CONTROLLING’ man who was found guilty of attacking his girlfriend and killing her unborn baby boy has been handed a life prison sentence.

Asa Davison, who grew up in Cornwall and trained as a chef with Jamie Oliver, was convicted of child destruction, inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and perverting the course of justice following a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.

The first two offences related to an incident in Gillingham, Dorset, in May 2020, while the second assault was committed four months later.

The last matter involved the defendant encouraging his girlfriend to make a false statement to police on several occasions while he was remanded in custody.

Davison, 35 and of Gillingham, was handed a life sentence on Thursday, January 6, by the Honourable Mrs Justice Cutts with a minimum term of 12 years.

He will only be considered for release by the parole board after serving the minimum term.

In sentencing the defendant at Bournemouth Crown Court, Mrs Justice Cutts said she rejected Davison’s claims throughout the trial that he only helped his girlfriend and that he was concerned for her welfare.

“You were no knight on a white charger,” said the judge.

“You are a controlling man who is quick to anger and to violence.”

Mrs Justice Cutts said she agreed with the author of the pre-sentence report who took the view the defendant’s behaviour during these offences and previous crimes was evidence of “controlling and coercive behaviour which is violent, manipulative and grooming in nature”.

The report author also believed the defendant posed a high risk to potential partners.

The judge said she had no hesitation in finding the defendant dangerous – whether he posed a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm occasioned by the commission of further specified offences.

“Your history of offending in a domestic context is of significant concern,” she said.

“The severity of it has escalated, with you fracturing the eye socket of your last two partners.

“In May 2020 you set out not just to cause your pregnant girlfriend really serious bodily injury but to kill her unborn child. You were on licence at the time. You were on bail when you assaulted her again in September. You have never accepted responsibility for your actions but sought time and again to blame others for the injuries you caused to them.”

The court heard Davison maintained his innocence and expressed his intention to appeal the convictions.

The defendant represented himself over video link from HMP Winchester for the sentencing hearing, having dismissed his counsel following his conviction.

Davison told the court he had an “amazing upbringing” in Cornwall and a “very successful career” as a chef.

He said he had been trained by Jamie Oliver at one of his restaurants.

The celebrity chef at one stage had a training school and restaurant, Fifteen, at Watergate Bay in Newquay, to help disadvantaged young people gain skills. 

Davison said he was “fundamentally into my health and spiritual evolution”, adding that “a lot of my previous convictions have been biased”.

“I am a very caring person. I like to help people,” Davison said.

As reported, at around 11pm on May 29, 2020, Davison and his then partner, who was 29 weeks pregnant, were in Gillingham town centre and she walked away from him.

The defendant was seen on CCTV on his bicycle looking for her and then followed her to an address in the town.

They left the address together and at around 11.50pm the victim ran away from Davison again as they walked back toward the town centre.

She began knocking on doors asking for help and a resident called police, who arrived at the scene. The victim hid in a residential garden until police arrived.

Officers attended and could see she had significant injuries to her face that appeared to be the result of an assault.

An ambulance was called and she was taken to hospital. She had sustained a number of fractures to her face and it was confirmed that her baby had died in her womb.

The judge commended the work of Dorset Police officers Sergeant George Graham, Detective Inspector Neil Third and Police Constable Kate Schofield for their work in the investigation.

She said it was an “extraordinarily difficult case with a victim who has not wished to cooperate with police”.

In a statement after the hearing, DI Third said: “This was a truly horrific domestic assault by Asa Davison that sadly had tragic consequences as it resulted in his victim losing her unborn child.

“I hope this case demonstrates that we will do all we can to identify offenders who commit domestic abuse offences and ensure they are brought before the courts to face the consequences of their actions.

“We are also committed to supporting victims and I would encourage anyone who has been subjected to domestic abuse not to suffer in silence and please come forward.”