Rothwell man jailed after strangling former partner

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He was locked up yesterday

A Rothwell man is starting a three-year prison spell after strangling his former partner and leaving her with bruises.

Geoffrey Butler put his hand to her throat and squeezed it before fleeing when she threatened to call the police.

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The 30-year-old, of Scott Avenue, was already on bail when he launched the attack just before Christmas.

Geoffrey ButlerGeoffrey Butler
Geoffrey Butler

Yesterday (Friday) he was locked up after being found guilty of non-fatal strangulation and assault causing actual bodily harm.

Northampton Crown Court heard Butler attacked his victim, who he had previously been in a relationship with, on December 23 last year.

Prosecutor Sarah McIntyre said Butler raised his left hand to her throat and “squeezed it to the point where she was coughing”. She also felt a rush of blood to her head but could still breathe.

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Ms McIntyre said: “He pushed her to the floor and sat on top of her. She told him to get off.

"He put his left arm around her neck and put her in a headlock.”

The court heard Butler, who has convictions for 28 previous offences including battery, pushed her and caused her to hit her head on a wall. He left when she threatened to call the police.

Butler, who appeared over videolink from HMP Peterborough, denied the offences but was convicted by magistrates last month.

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In a victim impact statement his former partner said she was left with bruising to her neck, arms and legs and was constantly reliving what had happened.

She said: "How can he do that to someone he loved?"

She added that she was always on edge and had to turn off an episode of Happy Valley when a character was strangled.

She said: "Every time I saw the bruises I would be sat thinking about that night and I wanted to forget about it but I couldn't."

The court heard that Butler, a self-employed fencing worker, pleaded guilty to breaching a non-molestation order by chasing the car she was in on foot and grabbing the door in November.

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Before the assault took place the victim retracted her police statement about the breach of the order because she “wanted to make things work”.

In a victim impact statement read out relating to that offence, she said: "This incident has left me scared to go out. I do not feel safe in my own home.

"I feel like wherever I go he is going to be there waiting for me."

Defending, Jonathan Rosen said there was very little he could say on behalf of his client in mitigation.

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Mr Rosen said the offences clearly crossed the custody threshold but the question was whether any sentence could be suspended.

There were audible gasps from Butler’s family in the public gallery when Recorder Jennifer Jones sentenced him to three years and 10 weeks in prison.

He will serve half of his sentence in custody before being released on licence. He is banned from contacting his victim by a restraining order.