Man attacked girlfriend and cut her with knife at Cheshire home after long period of abuse

Jealous bully Harry Rowland subjected his partner to an 'appalling catalogue' of domestic abuse over a six-month period. The 25-year-old cocaine user headbutted the woman, kicked her to the ground, strangled her and damaged her phone.

And at one point, he lunged at her and cut her eye with a knife. Now Rowland - who described the relationship as toxic - has been jailed for 26 months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

Prosecutor Alison Whalley said the defendant and his victim were in a relationship from April last year. It started well but Rowland began using cocaine and she noticed his attitude and behaviour change.

Miss Whalley said: "The defendant headbutted her in a bedroom at her parent's home in Biddulph. It caused her nose to bleed and she went to a friend's house to seek refuge."

But Rowland was so apologetic she did not report the assault to the police. Four weeks later he kicked her to the ground and a young boy intervened. Again, he sent her messages of apology.

Miss Whalley said: "He sought to strangle her. He placed both hands around her neck. She became lightheaded and was left with bruising."

Despite the violence the pair moved into an address together in Congleton. But on New Year's Eve, while at the address, he kicked her to the floor.

Miss Whalley said: "He continued to kick her. Such was the brutality she grabbed a small knife. He lunged towards that knife while she was in possession of it and pointed it to her face. It caught her right eye and made her bleed. He damaged her phone."

Rowland, of Tunstall Road, Biddulph, pleaded guilty to controlling and coercive behaviour, strangulation, and damaging property.

Barry White, mitigating, said Rowland was a 'decent person until the drugs took over'. Mr White said: "He behaved in an appalling way. He is very embarrassed by his behaviour. He is very remorseful for what he did."

He said Rowland has had private therapy sessions and would lose his business if he went to prison. He added the defendant had not committed any further offences since these matters.

Recorder Robert Smith said: "You behaved like a controlling, violent bully towards her. Your behaviour was fuelled by jealousy and cocaine.

"Over a six-month period you headbutted her and kicked her to the ribs while she was on the ground. And on New Year's Eve you kicked her to her upper body.

"You grabbed her around the neck causing her ability to breathe to be restricted. She went lightheaded. You let go.

"You have taken steps to address your offending behaviour, seeking out private counselling for anger issues. You are of previous good character.

"In my judgement, these offences are so serious that only an immediate sentence is appropriate. People who strangle their domestic partners will go to prison if they appear before this court. Strangulation of a partner is utterly despicable behaviour.

"Your use of cocaine underpinned your flashes of temper. You behaved like a coward and a bully like all domestic abusers. I would be failing in my public duty if I do not send you to prison for this appalling catalogue of domestic abuse."

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