Sheffield man’s terrifying hotel assault on ex-partner

A "dangerous and manipulative" Sheffield man terrified his former partner when he demanded she meet him at a hotel on the day he was released from prison, a court heard.

Sunday, 8th December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 6:04 pm

Russell Platts was jailed for assaulting the woman in June, and sent her "unsolicited letters, cards and flowers" while he was in prison, prosecutor Michael Tooley told Sheffield Crown Court, on Friday.

"He told her he was going to take her out for a meal," Mr Tooley said. "She told him not to come around.

"She felt terrified and was panicking. She put on an act so he didn't turn nasty as was his usual way."

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Sheffield Crown Court

But at the hotel Platts was rude to staff and accused her of flirting with another man in the bar, Mr Tooley said.

Platts grabbed her by her neck "with some force" and walked her from the bar and said: "I am taking you to my room."

"She was frightened and thought her safety was seriously at risk. She didn't want to go where she had no control," said Mr Tooley. "She was petrified, crying and shaking."

And when she hid in the ladies' toilet, Platts followed her inside and banged on the cubicle door.

In a statement the woman said: "I am terrified of Russell. Now that he is out of prison I know he is capable of causing me serious harm. Clearly he has no regard for the law or authority."

The court heard the woman is moving home and changing her telephone number.

Vanessa Saxton, mitigating, said Platts, who appeared via video-link from HMP Doncaster, was "properly remorseful" but had no recollection of the incident.

"While he is in custody he is able to maintain his drug-free status," she said. "It is when he is outside he has little impulse control to stop using alcohol or drugs."

Platts, 35, of May Tree Lane, Waterthorpe, admitted common assault and breach of the restraining order, at Sheffield Magistrates Court, on November 15.

Judge Rachael Harrison handed him two years in prison and told him: "Your victim said: I am terrified this will end with me getting hurt. You have told her "if I can't have you no one will.""