South Shields brute strangled former partner while telling her 'oh look, the princess is crying'

Philip Ormonde has been sentenced to 15 months behind bars
-Credit: (Image: Northumbria Police)

A brute told his distressed partner 'Oh look, the princess is crying' as he strangled her.

Philip Ormonde put his hands around the woman's neck while she was lying in bed. The 37-year-old woke the victim up at around 5am and pushed her into the mattress by her throat.

When she started to cry, he said: "Oh look, the princess is crying". It wasn't until she fought against him, in an attempt to get him off her, that he finally released his grip.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the woman had been in a "toxic" relationship with Ormonde on and off for two years. When she returned home from work in August last year, an argument broke out between the pair.

Deborah Smithies, prosecuting, told the court how the victim admitted throwing a drink in his direction. She said: "There was pushing and slaps in both directions. She went to bed sending him a text message asking him to leave the house."

The prosecutor said Ormonde didn't leave the property and stayed up for a few more hours. She said he woke her up when he joined her in bed at around 5am. He was pushing her and telling her to move out of the way.

She said Ormonde then placed his hands around her throat, spat in her face and shouted that he hated her. When she started to cry, he said: "Oh look, the princess is crying".

Ms Smithies said: "He was pushing her into the mattress by her throat while she fought against him. She tried to push him off her."

The court in Newcastle heard how he eventually released his grip, got up and left the room. He was arrested and placed on police bail.

A couple of months later, in October last year, the defendant contacted the woman by telephone and text.

Ms Smithies said: "He blamed her for having nowhere to stay, telling her he would have to sleep on the street. Understandably she felt guilty about it."

She said the woman allowed him to stay over and the evening was uneventful. She agreed that he could stay at the properly while she went to work the following morning.

Ms Smithies said that at first all was well. However his tone changed around 3pm and she suspected he had been drinking. She said: "He was now very angry. He began shouting at her for not dropping the changes from the August incident."

When the woman returned home from work, he continued to be abusive towards her and blame her for not dropping the charges.

The woman said he made her feel anxious and frightened of his aggression, as he goes from zero to 100. She said: "I can't explain it but he has a hold over me, I feel manipulated by him."

The following day, Ormonde asked her why the police had been told about the incident. He said he had blacked out and didn't have any memory of what happened.

The prosecutor said: "Twenty minutes after the phone call he again appeared at her home". She got the impression that he had been drinking and was holding a large bottle of cider.

The court heard how he asked to come into the house to charge his phone as he had an appointment and she allowed it. He took his phone call in the bedroom but she could hear him gradually become louder.

She went into the room and indicated that he had to wrap up the phone call. When the phone call ended, he pushed and shoved her.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said: "I constantly worry about what will happen to me. It's totally unacceptable for anybody to fear being in their own address."

Ormonde, of Copley Avenue, South Shields, pleaded guilty to non-fatal strangulation, witness intimidation and assault by beating and was jailed for 15 months. The court heard how he had one previous conviction for drink driving.

Robin Turton, defending, said Ormonde, who appeared in court via video link to Durham prison, had already served seven months on remand.

Recorder Tony Hawks told Ormonde: "It seems to be excessive drink is probably at the root of the various offences you now have to be sentenced for.

"All of the offences were against your then partner at the time, at the end of what was then a toxic relationship.

"Strangulation is rightly regarded as an extremely serious offence. It causes enormous distress on the part of the victim.

"Witness intimidation is also a serious matter. You committed that offence on bail, trying to bully her into dropping the change after you were arrested for trying to strangle her.

"There's then finally some pushing and shoving and the relationship fortunately came to an end because you got locked up."

The judge told the defendant that violence against women is treated extremely seriously.

Recorder Hawks told him: "If you raise your hand to a woman again, after your release, you're going to get your sentence measured in years. Do you understand that?" Ormonde replied: "Yes certainly."

Ormonde was also handed a five-year restraining order against the victim.