Woman blacked out and feared for her life after being strangled by her partner

·3-min read
Gregory Smith was jailed for two and a half years for attacking his partner.
Gregory Smith was jailed for two and a half years for attacking his partner.

A WOMAN feared for her life when her partner throttled her while he was drunk and high on cocaine.

Gregory Smith followed her around the house, stabbing her with cutlery and kicked her legs away in the attack.

He banged her head against the wall and throttled her until she saw spots in front of her eye and blacked out, Swindon Crown Court heard on Thursday.

Judge James Townsend called it a “quite terrifying and extremely serious attack” as he jailed Smith for two and-a-half years.

Swindon Advertiser: Gregory Smith
Swindon Advertiser: Gregory Smith

Gregory Smith

The court had earlier been told that officers were called to the home on May 28.

Prosecutor Tabitha Macfarlane said although Smith admitted the offence, he did not accept all of the facts.

“He had drunk alcohol, taken cocaine. He returned home, there was an argument, they both accused each other of being unfaithful,” she said, adding he then “spiralled”.

“He doesn’t accept that he threatened to kill her or her family but placed his hands around her neck. Then she hit him over the head.”

The 23-year-old, who has a previous domestic violence conviction for battery dating back to 2018, was arrested while sleeping in his car, and said he was deeply ashamed of his actions.

Smith, of Pritchard Close, Purton, pleaded guilty to attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

Defending, Emma Handslip said that Smith had called his own actions horrific.

His previous domestic violence conviction was an opportunity missed because he had only been fined and had no probation intervention.

“There is something of a pattern, but not to this degree, and a number of factors had to come together for this to be a catalyst.”

She said Smith had an autism spectrum disorder, and it was “well known that a number of factors can result in somebody acting aggressively”.

“We have somebody who has a home, provides the sole support for that in terms of the mortgage. That is the difficulty.

“I’m not saying somebody who pays the mortgage can do that, but there would be a significant impact on the complainant.

“This is somebody who has made a mistake, is prepared to take ownership of that. I say the only way to prevent a cycle is to stop it.

“We have somebody willing to do that and I’d like to ask the court in the circumstances to do that.”

She said immediate custody would punish Smith, of Pritchard Close in Purton, but not support him to change in the future.

But Judge Townsend said: “Whatever the background, you launched a sustained attack on her, following her around the house.

“The evidence suggests you twice picked up a knife and poked her with it.

“You accepted your aim was to cause her serious injury. All that is aggravated by the fact this was in a domestic context.

“You had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. It is apparent that that disorder has affected you in the past and continues to do so.

“On the other hand, I note the scepticism of the author of the pre-sentence report that your autism is a simple explanation of your offending. I don’t accept the scepticism you’re using it is as an excuse.

“It is a factor, but it has to be borne in mind against a pattern of abuse against partners.

“I also take into account your choice to drink to excess and take drugs was a cause.”

The judge said it was only a matter of luck there more serious injuries were not inflicted, and jailed Smith for two years and six months, above the threshold of which a prison sentence can be suspended.