Gabriel Calin was sentenced to more than six years in prison after fleeing the country to avoid arrest.
At around 1.10am on Tuesday 16 April 2019, the victim, who was in her late teens, was walking along Lower Stone Street when she saw a man she did not know who appeared to be following her.
She slowed down to allow him to pass and he carried on walking, before turning left into a side road.
The victim lost sight of the man and continued onto Loose Road where she suddenly became aware of the same man standing directly next to her.
He briefly spoke to her then appeared to become very angry and grabbed her hand, before punching the victim’s face. She fell to the floor where he punched her face with significant force two further times.
The victim fought against her attacker, screaming and kicking him until he ran off. She then raised the alarm and was taken to a local hospital for treatment to serious facial injuries.
Officers completed house-to-house enquiries and, through the examination of CCTV footage, were able to trace the offender’s movements through the town.
The investigation later identified Calin to be the suspect and enquiries discovered he had received hospital treatment for a hand injury before leaving the country on 21 April.
Calin, of no fixed address, was located in Romania and investigators applied for his extradition.
On Wednesday 29 July 2020, he was escorted onto a plane by Kent Police officers in Bucharest and brought back to the United Kingdom.
Calin was charged with attempted wounding with intent and pleaded not guilty at Maidstone Crown Court. He was found guilty by a jury on Thursday 1 July after a three-day trial.
On Wednesday 13 April 2022, the 29-year-old was sentenced to six years and one month in prison.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Andy Julier, said: ‘This was a despicable and cowardly attack on a young woman by a man who injured his hand, such was the force of the punches to the victim’s face.
‘The investigation to track him down was thorough and complex, and I am pleased we were able to bring him before the court to answer for his appalling crime.
‘The victim has received ongoing dental treatment due to the assault and Calin’s callous actions continue to have a significant impact on her quality of life.
‘I would like to commend her courage in supporting our investigation throughout and also thank the witnesses who assisted us to bring Calin to justice.’