'Manipulative' girlfriend, 22, lured ex into trap where lover beat him with bat leaving his brain matter on road

A FLORIST has dodged jail after luring her ex into a trap where her new lover battered him senseless with a baseball bat.

Paul Flory, 33, miraculously escaped death when his head was split open in a frenzied attack which left "brain matter" splattered on the road.

James White, 22, was persuaded to attack Flory by "manipulative liar" Crystal Culhane.

But while White got 11 years, Culhane, 22, was given a suspended sentence after she claimed a car accident left her with post traumatic stress disorder.

The Old Bailey heard White and Culhane had rekindled their teenage romance over an Indian meal on 18 August 2019.

White brought Culhane back to his flat in Harefield, west London for a night of passion.

But Culhane was also dating 33-year-old Paul Flory, despite his history of violence against her.

Impressed by White's flat and flash lifestyle, Culhane used him to get Mr Flory out of her life, a court heard.

In a series of text messages she told Mr Flory where she was and waited for him to turn up on White's doorstep.

White armed himself with a baseball bat and headed outside to batter Mr Flory.

Mr Flory was left with horrific injuries to his head and body and found in a critical condition by members of the public.

One of the police officers called to the scene said he spotted what he "suspected to be brain matter" along with "claret" splattered on the pavement.


Prosecutor Tyrone Silcott said: "Brain matter was seen coming out of his head by witnesses. Mr White had literally beaten his brains out."

Mr Flory was rushed to hospital where paramedics managed to save his life.

Police recovered the bat containing DNA belonging to White while Culhane was caught by her text messages luring the victim to her lover's home.

White was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and Culhane was convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Judge Sarah Munro, said Culhane was a "determined, persuasive and manipulative liar" capable of conning professionals into sympathising with her.

"Crystal Culhane did not, as the jury found, intend you (White) to attack him as brutally as you did but she did intend I am sure that you cause him considerable harm," she said.

"She did not anticipate that you would use a weapon.

2You took the baseball bat with you either from the flat or from one of your vehicles, and as you now accept, you cornered Paul Flory in an alleyway and you battered him all over his head and body, literally beating his brains out.

'LEFT FOR DEAD'

"The attack lasted no more than 50 seconds and you left him for dead as you ran back to your flat with the bat, wiping the bat on the grass as you fled.

"Through the evidence, the reports and my own observation of you throughout the trial, it is clear that you, Crystal Culhane are a complex young woman of 22.

"On the one hand you are an attractive, beautifully groomed and dressed young woman who is concerned at all times for your appearance.

"You are, as I have seen from your text messages, articulate and literate. You are nowhere near as stupid as you would, when it suits you, have people believe.

"Indeed, the evidence showed you to be a determined, persuasive and manipulative liar who is capable of deceiving others including professionals.

"On the other hand you undoubtedly had a very difficult childhood, you were in care, you had special educational needs and you were unable to achieve academically.

"You are prone to severe anxiety. You have been diagnosed with PTSD after a very unpleasant car crash."

Tim Starkey, defending Culhane said: "The domestic violence which she witnessed in her childhood, sadly seems to have been repeated in her own relationships.

"A willingness to please and wanting to be loved is why she attracted men who recognised it and exploited it."

But prosecutor Tyrone Silcott, said: "Culhane lies whenever it suits her.

"The attack was vicious and frenzied leaving Mr Flory with horrific life-threatening injuries.

"The paramedics who treated Mr Flory at the scene found him unconscious with very severe head injuries and major fractures to the skull, front and back and major swelling to the eyes and face with massive bleeding.

"It is a miracle he survived the attack."

Culhane, of West Drayton, denied attempted murder and White, of Uxbridge, denied attempted murder and having an offensive weapon. They were cleared of attempted murder.

But White was convicted of possession of the offensive weapon and grievous bodily harm with intent, while Culhane was found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent.

Culhane was handed a jail sentence of two years suspended for two years and White was jailed for 11 years.

Culhane must complete 200 hours of unpaid work and 60 sessions of rehabilitation within 18 months.

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