Man sentenced after strangling girlfriend during early hours argument on New Year's Day

John Mitchell pictured outside Hull Crown Court
-Credit: (Image: Hull Live)

A drink-fuelled argument in the early hours of New Year's Day turned nasty when a man angrily grabbed his girlfriend around the throat and started strangling her after she suddenly slapped him.

They had been talking about arranging a family holiday when the discussion "descended into an argument" and violence was sparked, Hull Crown Court heard.

John Mitchell, 48, of Marlowe Street, east Hull, admitted intentional strangulation of the woman. He pleaded guilty four days before a scheduled trial was due to take place.


Ben Hammersley, prosecuting, said that Mitchell and the woman had been in a relationship since July 2022 and each had children from previous relationships. She later gave birth to their first child.

They were drinking on New Year's Eve and into the early hours of New Year's Day and were talking about planning a family holiday. It "descended into an argument" and the woman told him that she did not want anything to do with him and his children.

"She slapped the defendant once to the face," said Mr Hammersley. Mitchell responded by grabbing his girlfriend by her throat and pushing her into the kitchen. The shouting between them continued.

The matter was reported to the police and Mitchell was arrested. During police interview, he denied the strangulation allegation and claimed that the woman had been assaulting him. He had previous convictions, most recently in 2011 for harassment.

Cathy Kioko-Gilligan, mitigating, said that Mitchell pleaded guilty before the scheduled trial. "The defendant readily accepts that this relationship is over," said Miss Kioko-Gilligan. The couple had an 11-month-old child together. Mitchell had suffered health problems.

Judge Tahir Khan KC said that the incident left the woman "fearful" but it was clear that Mitchell had shown regret and remorse. Mitchell had been drinking heavily at the time but he was now staying away from alcohol.

The offences was made more serious because of the fact that Mitchell's son was there at the time of the incident.

Mitchell was given a 14-month suspended prison sentence, 40 days' rehabilitation and a probation service Building Better Relationships programme. He was given an indefinite restraining order.

Judge Khan warned Mitchell that he faced being jailed if he breached the order or did not do any part of it to the required standard. Mitchell said: "I am sorry to be here today."