Derby strangling victim ‘thought she would die’ as ex throttled her

This Derby woman beater squeezed his victim’s throat so hard she thought she was going to die.

Derby Crown Court heard how Callum Johnston attacked the woman in front of their young child at her Alvaston home.

He punched her repeatedly to the face and left her so scared, she ran out the back and climbed over a fence to the safety of a neighbour.

And the 37-year-old’s only explanation as to why he assaulted the woman so badly was “I got angry”.

Jailing him for six months, Judge Robert Egbuna said: “In short you flipped didn’t you?

“You grabbed her neck, having consumed alcohol, and you squeezed so hard she could not breathe.

“She thought at that moment you were squeezing so hard you were going to kill her.

“She tried everything possible to stop you from killing her and while of this was going on, your young child was watching what was taking place.

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“You eventually removed your hand from her throat and she asked you to leave. You went outside but it didn’t stop there.

“You don’t leave, you begin kicking the door, you get back in the house and you punch her several times to the face.

“Such was her terror she runs out of the back and has to climb over a neighbour’s fence. That kind of behaviour can only be met by a custodial sentence.”

Lucia Harrington, prosecuting, said Johnston, of Harvey Road, Alvaston and the victim had been in a relationship but had split up before the attack.

She said on September 8, he was seeing his children at her property in Burnaby Street, had been drinking and then an argument began between them over a new relationship one of them was in.

Miss Harrington said: “He shouted at her ‘don’t shout at me’ and then flipped over tables and grabbed her around the throat.

“She could not breathe, she thought he was going to kill her. She clawed at his hands and pushed at his face to stop him and all of this was witnessed by a child.”

Miss Harrington said the victim told the defendant to leave, but he got outside and started kicking at the door, came back into the house and began punching her to the face.

She said: “The woman ran out of the back and climbed over a fence to the safety of a neighbour.”

Johnston was arrested and in his police interview made full admissions to what he had done, telling officers “I got angry”.

He pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Justin Ablott, mitigating, said his client was full and frank with the police and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

Asking the judge to consider suspending the sentence he said: “He feels shame about the way he behaved and he knows it is a significantly aggravating feature that the child was in the house.

“He is desperate to rebuild the relationship with his children.”

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