'It's showtime!': Drunk boyfriend's mad rant before taking hammer to next door's car

A booze-fuelled boyfriend who hounded his partner for money to fund his gambling and cocaine habits yelled 'it's showtime!' before taking a hammer to his neighbour's car.

Andrew Jefferson also controlled his partner's movements. If she was out of contact for a few hours, the 38-year-old would call relentlessly,.

Preston Crown Court heard how she would walk on eggshells when he returned from work and demanded his tea would be ready for him. Today (June 11), Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, said Jefferson, of Parkfield Close, Lea, had been in an 18 year relationship with his partner. But from 2018 the relationship became toxic.

Now the dad-of-three is behind bars after a judge said his behaviour was so serious only a prison sentence could serve justice. He has also been banned from contacting his ex for four years.

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"Throughout the relationship he controlled her financially", Mr Brookwell said. "He had a cocaine and gambling addiction and would constantly pester her for money. She was scared of saying no because of his aggression towards her."

Jefferson was verbally abusive to his partner, calling her a "thick b**ch" to the extent the abuse became normal in their relationship. However the woman's confidence was shattered and she was left feeling like a bad mother to their three children.

On Friday March 15, 2024, Jefferson returned from the pub at 11pm and began asking to get the neighbour on the phone. He walked around the house with a garden tool, saying: "Come on, let's have him."

He went into the attic but fell out of it, as he was drunk. He made threats and called his partner names, the court heard.

Eventually the woman shouted at Jefferson to leave the house. Moments later she heard him outside, shouting: "Right, it's showtime!"

He approached the neighbour's house and set about the door with a hammer. He then turned his attention to a car, which was parked outside, smashing the windscreen and hitting the side of the vehicle with the weapon.

As police arrived, they saw Jefferson holding the hammer in the air. He was arrested and taken into custody but made no comment when asked about the criminal damage and weapon he was carrying.

With the defendant remanded in custody, his partner told the police how he had controlled and coerced her for a number of years.

In a victim impact statement, she said: "It has been overwhelming, the effect it has had on me. It has made me isolate myself from everyone and made me feel worthless.

"If I go out anywhere he hounds me. It has had a massive effect on my mental health. I have anxiety about the fact he would always kick off with the neighbours over parking. It left me feeling low and paranoid.

"I can't fully put into words the negative effect he has had on my life. All I want is a peaceful life to look after my children."

Mr Brookwell told the court Jefferson has 23 previous convictions, including 15 for violence. In 2012 he was jailed for an attack on the same partner. He was also in breach of a suspended sentence and conditional discharge at the time he committed the offenced.

Tom Lord, defending, said his client had writted a letter to the court which showed a great deal of insight and remorse into his behaviour, stating he has been 'blind' to the way he was treating his partner.

"He is philosophical that the relationship had to end because of his behaviour and seeks no reconciliation", he said.

Jefferson pleaded guilty to coercive and controlling behaviour, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place. He also admitted breach of a suspended sentence and breach of a conditional discharge.

Recorder Kevin Slack, sentencing, said the offence was extremely serious due to the period of time over which the abuse escalated. However he said it did not carry some of the hallmarks of some of the cases of coercive control seen by the courts.

"The combination of your offences is so serious only a custodial sentence can be justified", he said.

He sentenced the defendant to 21 months in prison.