Thug kneed pregnant girlfriend in face while she played with child on the floor

Silhouette of woman
On one occasion he grabbed her by the throat and squeezed -Credit:Imagesines/Getty Images

A controlling boyfriend subjected his pregnant partner to months of physical, verbal and emotional abuse, a court heard.

Staff at Royal Preston Hospital noticed injuries when she attended a 20 week antenatal appointment and asked what had happened. The woman bravely disclosed that her partner, Liam Finlayson, had been abusing her for around seven months.

She was supported to make a police statement, in which she said her partner checked her phone and controlled the money in the relationship. He had thrown her phone at her, slapped her face, verbally abused her and called her names.


He blamed her for the 'ups and downs in life' including housing issues, Paul Brookwell told Preston Crown Court. Finlayson had hit her legs with an electrical cable, threatened to 'kick her in', and stopped her leaving the house during arguments.

On one occasion he grabbed her by the throat and squeezed as she struggled to breathe and felt dizzy. At the same time he elbowed her in the cheek, she said.

In another incident, Finlayson kneed her in the face while she was playing with a child on the floor. As a result she lost a tooth and could not enjoy food for two weeks.

Mr Brookwell said: "His actions affected her not only physically but emotionally. She has been unable to sleep, has flashbacks and feels exhausted. She has panic attacks and often bursts into tears when she thinks about the abuse.

"His actions have had a great impact on where she resides to the point she has had to move out of her flat and she has changed the way she socialises. She now avoids meeting friends and family and feels isolated. She fears going to the shops because she fears bumping into the defendant."

Finlayson, 25, of Whitby Avenue, Ingol, pleaded guilty to controlling and coercive behaviour, ABH and strangulation.

His defence barrister, Matthew Conway, said Finlayson has a good employment history and work ethic. However he has suffered trauma which has impacted his mental health. He is also a carer for his grandfather who is terminally ill, Mr Conway said.

Finlayson has no previous convictions but told a probation officer he would "have to live with what he had done".

Sentencing, Recorder William Beardsmore said he had received a number of letters from people who knew Finlayson and spoke of his qualities. However they also set out his flaws.

"While they don't have experience of you being aggressive, you can be profoundly unkind", he said. "It is clear that may well have stemmed from the trauma in your past which has impacted your mental health.

"Your employer describes you as reliable, hardworking and trustworthy and you have accepted support from the mental health intervention team. The coercive control went on for many months and your former partner feared violence from you on many occasions. The strangulation took place against a general context of underlying violence within your relationship. That offence was carried out in your victim's home.

"The ABH was when she was pregnanct with your child and playing with another child in your home."

However Recorder Beardsmore said Finlayson had 'strong personal mitigation' and a realistic prospect of rehabilitation. He sentenced him to 20 months suspended for two years and ordered him to take part in a Building Better Relationships course and 150 hours of unpaid work.

He also made a restraining order prohibiting him from entering the Penwortham, Kingsfold or Ingol areas.