'Incredible Hulk' jailed for Barnstaple street attack

James Le Feuvre

James Le Feuvre - Credit: DC Police

A street attacker has been jailed for punching a woman so hard that she was lifted off her feet and broke her leg as she fell to the ground. 

James Le Feuvre was so angry during a confrontation in Barnstaple that he ripped off his shirt ‘like the Incredible Hulk’ before punching the woman in the face. 

She was a peacemaker who had stepped in to try to stop ground worker Le Feuvre attacking a neighbour in the street outside their homes.  

He had gone to Elliot Close because of a Facebook argument with a woman who lived there but it turned violent and the neighbour tried to separate them. 

He told police he was acting in self-defence after being attacked by four women and stuck by his story for more than two years until the morning of his trial at Exeter Crown Court. 

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She spent weeks in severe pain after needing an operation to repair multiple fractures in her leg. 

Le Feuvre, aged 30, of Forches, Barnstaple, admitted assault causing grievous bodily harm and was jailed for 14 months by Recorder Mr Andrew Oldland, QC. 

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He told him: "You clearly punched the victim with considerable force which lifted her off her feet. You rendered her unconscious and unfortunately, she fell awkwardly and suffered a serious break to her leg. 

“I accept you did not intend such serious injury but this is still a serious case. It is not uncommon for a single punch like this to result in someone’s head hitting a hard surface, and that can be fatal. 

“You ran off, and when police caught up with you, you said you were the victim and defending yourself.” 

The judge told Le Feuvre he was unable to suspend the sentence because he has previous convictions for violence or public order offences going back to his teens. 

Miss Emily Pitts, prosecuting, said the victim of the assault was at home with friends and their children in August 2018 when she heard a commotion outside and went out to see Le Feuvre acting aggressively towards a female neighbour. 

She stood between them and told him to stop but he responded by punching her with a single heavy blow to her face which knocked her out cold. 

Miss Pitts said: “One of the witnesses described his extreme reaction to being like The Incredible Hulk, ripping his top off before he hit her.” 

He later told police he had gone to see a woman in the same street in a dispute over ‘flirty’ Facebook messaged and had been set on by her and three other females. He said he was defending himself. 

Miss Francesca Whebell, defending, said Le Feuvre is currently on a waiting list for a probation run Thinking Skills course which would help him control his behaviour. 

She said he was very upset about the death of his grandmother at the time of this offence but his life has now stabilised and he is working up to six days a week with the prospect of promotion. 

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