Hartlepool woman feared partner was going to kill her after threatening her with kitchen knife on Boxing Day

A woman feared she was going to be killed when her partner armed himself with a knife and threatened her.
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Dean Russell took the six-inch kitchen knife after smoking crack cocaine and being in a foul mood on Boxing Day before making threats to his partner and others at the home they shared.

During the same incident, he pushed his partner up against a wall.

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Just a week earlier, he strangled her during an argument, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Dean Russell (inset) was jailed for three years at Teesside Crown Court.Dean Russell (inset) was jailed for three years at Teesside Crown Court.
Dean Russell (inset) was jailed for three years at Teesside Crown Court.

Thirty-one-year-old Russell, who the judge said has an “appalling record” for violence against women, was jailed for three years.

Peter Sabiston, prosecuting, said a row erupted between Russell and his then partner on December 19 last year when he grabbed her hair and “gripped her by the throat” affecting her ability to breathe.

Mr Sabiston said he smiled as she tried to free herself, then slapped her.

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While at home on Boxing Day, Russell threatened to stab his sister before apologising.

But then he went into the kitchen and picked up the knife, the court heard.

"He threatened to stab his partner while holding the knife in his right hand,” said Mr Sabiston.

A man, who was present, intervened and disarmed Russell before the police arrived.

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He pleaded guilty to non-fatal strangulation, threats to kill, common assault and breach of a restraining order.

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In a victim impact statement, Russell’s now former partner said: “Every day I don’t feel safe.

"I worry about my safety in the future but also the safety of my family.”

Tom Bennett, defending, acknowledged: “This is clearly, it’s an understatement to say, unpleasant offending.

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"The defendant is fully aware he is going to receive a substantial custodial sentence.”

Russell, previously of Melrose Street, Hartlepool, was sentenced to three years in jail.

Judge Nathan Adams told him: “Both against this partner and previous partners you have an appalling record for offences of violence.”

Referring to the knife threats, he added: “There would have been absolutely no way for her to know you wouldn’t carry through with those threats.

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"It’s no surprise she says she was terrified you were going to kill her on that occasion.”

The judge also made a new indefinite restraining order not to have any contact with the victim or four named members of her family.