Violent thug brutally strangled partner then ate burger and pie 'like nothing happened'

Stephen Armson has been jailed for two years and ten months
-Credit: (Image: Essex Police handout)

A violent thug brutally beat and strangled his partner where she "thought she would die" and then casually ate a burger and pie while she lay crying on the sofa. Stephen Armson viciously attacked the woman in a row over her changing her WhatsApp profile photo on her phone.

The attack happened at the woman's address in Clacton on August 13 last year. Chelmsford Crown Court heard at Armson's sentencing on Thursday (July 11) that it was a "high-risk" domestic violence case, with the woman alleging abusive behaviour by Armson in the months prior, as they were in a relationship for around 16 months.

Prosecutor David Ryan said: "She says he has been abusing her and was always wanting to know where she is and what she is doing, who she is talking to and commenting when she receives calls and texts.

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"On August 13, 2023, they were having an argument at her home address. He noticed that she had changed her profile photo on WhatsApp. He punched her in the face causing a split lip and bruising on the nose and eye. He grabbed her phone off her, and smashed it against the bedframe causing the screen to be destroyed. It was valued at something like £1,000.

"She tried to grab his phone but he was much bigger than her and he threw her and she landed on the bed, striking her head on a door or radiator, causing a large lump, for which she got medical attention for the day after. She got up and threw his clothes and belongings to get him to leave. He dragged her into a bedroom and locked his arms around her neck and had her in a headlock.

"She thought she was going to die and closed her eyes, thinking 'this is it'. She used her strength to try and fight back and punched him in the face thinking she had nothing to lose. He then let her go and she fled into the living room and lay on the sofa crying.

"She later asked him to leave but he was still in the bedroom eating a pie and burger that he cooked for himself like nothing had happened. She grabbed the food from him but he refused to leave and he said he would leave in the morning."

The next day Armson appeared at his ex-partner's house, which he was barred from attending by a non-molestation order, with a face "covered in blood" where he was "drunk and crying" explaining what had happened, Mr Ryan told the court.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said she had faced "body-shaming" from Armson and that it was "always about him" when they were together and it had distanced her from friends and family. She feels like she could "never" form a new relationship due to her confidence being destroyed by the relationship and assault.

Sasha Bailey, mitigating, said Armson's main goal was now to work and be able to financially support his children. She said: "Drink may have played a role that evening, he is not someone who is dependant on drink but has learned his lesson that in drinking to any form of extreme there is a lack of control."

Judge Alexander Mills said Armson had caused "enormous stress" to his victims and said everyone "should feel safe at home" with or without a partner living there. He jailed Armson for two years and ten months and imposed a restraining order for him not to contact both women.