A MAN has gone on trial accused of attempting to strangle his former partner with her dress.
Declan Fusco wrapped the dress around the neck of Bobbi Lee while they were passengers in a car on an early-morning journey to buy more drink, a jury at Durham Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Chris Baker said Fusco confronted Ms Lee and her friend, Rebecca Scollins, at the house of a mutual friend earlier in the evening.
“Fusco was aggressive,” added Mr Baker. “He grabbed Ms Lee by the face and punched her in the stomach.
“Ms Scollins saw the assault and tried to intervene.
“For her efforts, she was punched in the face and stomach.
“Both women ran away to a house in Peterlee they were looking after while the occupier was away.”
The jury heard Fusco followed the women to the Peterlee house.
Ms Scollins tried to call the police on her iPhone, but he took it from her and smashed it with a hammer.
“Fusco was now out of control,” said Mr Baker. “He was shouting and making threats to both women.
“He began smashing various items in the house, including a door and a kitchen cabinet.
“The women agreed to his demands to give him a lift to get more drink.”
He said that during the journey, Fusco picked up a dress in the car and wrapped it around Ms Lee’s throat, apparently trying to strangle her.
“By about 9am Fusco had calmed down,” he added.
“He told both women not to report the incident, but they did two days later.”
The court heard Fusco declined to answer questions from police.
He gave them a prepared statement admitting arguing with Ms Lee, but denying assault.
Fusco, 22, of Rydal Crescent, Peterlee, denies assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault, and breach of a restraining order.
He admits destroying property and damaging property.
All offences are alleged to have happened between September 13 and 15 last year.
The case continues.