A thug who strangled his partner and suffocated her with a pillow has become one of the first criminals to be sentenced under a new law aimed at punishing domestic violence.
Tyler Lowe was jailed for two years under the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 after pleading guilty to strangulation, suffocation, assault and damaging his victim’s phone.
The 28-year-old was sentenced for non-fatal strangulation or suffocation, which became a specific offence in June, punishable with a jail term of up to five years.
Before then, abusers who strangled victims could often only be charged with common assault, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison.
Bolton Crown Court court heard that Lowe had previously been jailed for attacking his partner, who moved towns to get away from him.
The court heard that Lowe was released from prison on licence with conditions to stay away from her.
But just after 10pm on June 28, police were called to her home by concerned neighbours who heard a "bad argument", prosecutor David Farley told the court.
When the woman opened the door she was "visibly shaken and upset", he said, adding: "She reluctantly confirmed that it was the defendant who had been at the address."
The woman told officers she had agreed to start seeing Lowe again after he promised things would be different.
But instead she was left bruised and told police that two days earlier Lowe had tried to strangle her and had held a pillow over her face, leaving her afraid he would kill her.
Lowe fled the address but police found him there again on 5 July when he was arrested.
The court heard Lowe had multiple previous convictions for violence including affray and criminal damage and in 2019 had been jailed for headbutting and punching his girlfriend in the face.
Nicholas Ross, defending, said at the time of the offences, mental health that Lowe was receiving was not working properly and coupled with some drink on the two days in question, had "sent him over the edge".
He said: "He is devastated for the victim and he understands this sort of conduct is shameful and has no place whatsoever in society.
"He understands he has a lot of work and learning to do."
Sentencing Lowe, Judge Tom Gilbart told him: "This was vulnerable victim – a woman in her own home.
"Holding a pillow over a victims face and strangling her risked the most serious consequences."
Alongside the prison sentence, Lowe was also issued with a restraining order banning him from contacting his victim for 10 years.