Young mum feared she woud die as ex-boyfriend throttled her in ‘unpleasant’ assault

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A BUILDER throttled his ex-girlfriend in an “unpleasant, mean and cowardly” assault after their relationship ended, a court heard.

Scott Ireland, aged 30, of Pogmoor Road, Barnsley, attacked 25-year-old Rebecca Prior at her home on Dodworth Road, choking and kicking her before she fled the property.

Cannabis addict Ireland later poured bleach over Rebecca’s bed and settee.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Rebecca “believed she would die” in the assault.

Carl Fitch, prosecuting, said Ireland and Rebecca’s relationship lasted for 18 months. They have a young son together and split up three weeks before the attack.

Rebecca enjoyed a night out with friends in Barnsley on October 22 last year, he said, and returned home the next morning to find Ireland waiting for her outside.

“She allowed him in so as not to cause any trouble,” he said, adding Ireland began to roll a cannabis joint once indoors.

“As she was in the doorway he lunged at her, put both hands around her neck and began to effectively throttle her,” Mr Fitch told the court.

“She was struggling to breathe and honestly believed she would die.”

He said Ireland pushed Rebecca onto the settee, still with his hands around her neck, and climbed on top of her.

“He was extremely angry, swearing at her and calling her inappropriate names.

“Miss Prior was kicking and hitting out the best she could.

She managed to get him off her and he stumbled away, but not before kicking her with full force to her right leg and the bottom of her back.”

The court heard Rebecca ran away to call 999. Police officers escorted her home when they arrived, and walked in to find the damage.

“Bleach had been poured all over her bed and over her settee, which she values at around £1,200,” Mr Fitch said.

Rebecca suffered bruises on her back and under her chin, and her right earlobe was split when her earring was ripped out in the struggle.

Mr Fitch said Ireland’s cannabis addiction meant he was “unpredictable”, and that Rebecca “didn’t feel safe in her own home” after her ordeal.Police found a cannabis plant in Ireland’s back room window when they arrested him.

Ireland had a previous conviction for producing cannabis in his cellar, as well as assault.

James Gould, defending, said: “It was committed in the heat of the moment. When discussions started about seeing someone else his temper got the better of him.

“Following his arrest she repeatedly sent him text messages of an affectionate kind, and wished the relationship to continue.”

Judge David Hatton QC, sentencing, said: “This was an unpleasant, mean and cowardly assault when you lost your temper, then went on to damage some of her property.”

Ireland admitted common assault, damaging property and cultivating cannabis.

He was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment suspended for a year, with supervision and an activity requirement.

Recorder Hatton made no separate penalty on the cannabis charge, but ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the cannabis plant.