'˜Jekyll and Hyde' thug threatened to kill girlfriend
A '˜Jekyll and Hyde' character who subjected his partner to a sustained beating and tried to smother her with a duvet has been jailed for 21 months.
Jonathan Graham left Kirby Weegram covered in bruises and twice blocked her airways for a short time leaving her unable to breathe.
Ms Weegram was off work for several weeks, and in a statement read to Teesside Crown Court, said the incident had left her fearful of having another relationship.
“The pair had been together for about two months,” said Richard Bennett, prosecuting.
“Ms Weegram describes the relationship as stormy, caused by Graham’s controlling and jealous behaviour.
“He would routinely demand to go through her phone to see if she had been contacting other men.”
The court heard on the night of the assault the pair went to various bars in Hartlepool where they argued several times.
“They ended up at Graham’s small flat,” said Mr Bennett. “Ms Weegram went to use the toilet.
“Graham entered the bathroom, and at first he was calm but he then punched her to the side of the face, knocking her to the floor.
“He covered her mouth and nose, leaving her unable to breathe for a few seconds, before releasing his hold and doing the same thing again.
“Ms Weegram tried to leave, but Graham told her she would not get out of the flat alive and he was going to kill her. She fled to the bedroom where Graham covered her in a duvet and tried to smother her with it.
“He also gripped her neck as if to strangle her.”
The court heard Graham became increasing irrational, saying he wanted to kill himself but he wanted to make it look like Ms Weegram had done it.
Her six-hour ordeal ended when she managed to flee the flat barefoot as Graham ‘messed around’ with some tablets he said he wanted to use to kill himself.
Graham 32, of Lewis Grove, Hartlepool, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and threats to kill, both on August 20, last year. He has previous convictions for affray, battery, criminal damage, and harassment.
Stephen Constantine, defending, said in mitigation: “Despite his bad record, the time he has spent on remand is his first time in custody.
“He has used that time well,taking part in various education and job training opportunities,
“Mr Graham remarks it might have been better if he had been sent to prison earlier in his life.
“He recognises the way he was leading his life is unacceptable, and he wants to put things right in future.
“His immediate family and those he has dealt with in the prison speak well of him.”
Graham was jailed for 21 months.
Judge Deborah Sherwin told him: “The psychological damage caused to your victim will live with her long after her physical injuries have healed.
“This lady is 10 years your junior, and you assaulted her over a protracted period of time and in a number of different ways.
“I can give you some credit for pleading guilty, albeit on the day of trial.
“From what I have read and been told, I accept there is another side to you.
“In that respect, you are something of a Jekyll and Hyde character.”
Graham was made the subject of an indefinite restraining order banning him from contacting his victim or referring to her on social media.