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  1. ITV Report

Jail for man who launched frenzied attack on woman in Essex nightclub

Lacey Knight before and after the attack Credit: Essex Police

Police have praised the "courage and bravery" of a woman who was repeatedly punched in the face during a frenzied assault in a nightclub - as her attacker was jailed.

Lacey Knight was out with friends at Elements in Clacton in December last year when she had a short conversation with 26-year-old John Kalema.

After the 22-year-old rejected his advances, he repeatedly punched her - causing her to fall backwards and hit her head on the bar.

Miss Knight was left with multiple fractures to her cheek bones and jaw, which needed wiring, black eyes and a swollen forehead.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard the attack was so violent, a man who spotted the attack and tried to intervene, and security staff at the club, could not overpower him.

Kalema, who is unemployed and of no fixed address, fled the scene but was arrested following an appeal by police.

He pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm at a hearing in March and has now been jailed for three years.

Speaking following the sentencing, Det Con Richard English, of Essex Police, said the attack had been frenzied.

John Kalema Credit: Essex Police

"This was a violent and unprovoked assault on an innocent woman who was simply enjoying a night out with friends.

"I would like to praise Lacey Knight for her assistance, courage and bravery following this attack and court process. I hope the sentence handed down to Kamela offers some justice to her."

– Det Con Richard English, Essex Police

Miss Knight said it had been "a long, hard few months" but was pleased "justice had been served".

“I now want to rebuild my life. Even if they are little steps at a time, they will still be steps forward. “I would like to thank my family and friends who have helped me along the way, especially my mum, who has been my rock.”

– Lacey Knight