A woman thought her 'little girl was going to wake up without a mum’ after her bodybuilder boyfriend brutally attacked her for not packing his suitcase 'tight enough.'
Michael Huyton, 35, had been drinking with his victim on January 22 before they returned to her home in Atherton, Bolton Crown Court heard.
But Huyton became ‘irritated’ by her playing loud music and when the woman went to bed Huyton shouted that she’d ‘let him down’ and ‘ruined the night’, prosecution barrister James Preece told the court.
About a minute later, he came upstairs to ask where his cigarettes and lighter were. Huyton then ripped the covers off the woman to search the bed.
At around 10pm, a takeaway was delivered and Huyton verbally abused the woman — calling her either a ‘b****’ or a ‘s**g’ —and when she got back to bed with the food it was kicked out of her hands.
The victim tried to get her work phone from the drawer but Huyton snatched it from her and threw it at a wall, damaging the plasterboard.
She started to cry on the bed and Huyton called her ‘pathetic’.
Huyton threw the woman’s handbag across the room and her personal phone fell onto the floor. She picked it up and tried to leave the room but he grabbed her and pushed her onto the bed so hard that it snapped.
He then pushed her back down a further two times when she tried to get up and ordered her to,“Pack me my stuff, I’m f***ing off. I’ve had enough of this s**t.”
After starting to pack it, Huyton then picked the case up and emptied it, telling his victim to “pack it f*****g neater”.
He also threw a ring light, belonging to the woman’s daughter, at a wall.
When she tried to leave once more, Huyton threw her to the bed, got on top of her and started to strangle her. He released his grip after around five seconds and eventually let the woman leave the room when she told him she needed the toilet.
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She ran to a neighbour’s front garden in her bare feet but Huyton was seen on CCTV following her, getting her in a headlock and trying to wrestle her phone away, before throwing her to the ground.
Huyton went back to the house, locked the front door and then left with the keys.
Police found Huyton, of Leigh Road, Atherton, in her home the following day and arrested him.
He gave a no comment interview but pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage on his first appearance before magistrates.
In a victim's personal statement, the woman said: “If I didn’t get out of the house I dread to think of the outcome. My little girl could have woken up without a mum.
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“When he was strangling me I thought I was going to die."
She admitted that the incident was ‘out of character’ but added: “Just because it was out of character does not make it acceptable.”
Defending, Adam White told the court that Huyton is a father-of-two and that a number of character references had been provided, describing him as a ‘caring, responsible family man’, ‘good father’, ‘honest’, ‘reliable’, and ‘hard-working’.
Judge Tom Gilbart described the offence as “bullying thuggery” but did not impose an immediate jail term on Huyton, citing his young children, strong personal mitigation and lack of previous convictions.
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Sentencing Huyton to 10 months, suspended for 18 months, Judge Gilbart said: “It is quite mystifying that a father of two children would behave in this way.
“It was a grossly serious thing to do – exposing her to the risk of extremely serious consequences.”
He imposed a restraining order prohibiting Huyton from contacting the woman or visiting her street. Huyton will also have to complete 100 hours of unpaid work, 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days, and the Building Better Relationships course.
For the next three months, he will also be subject to an electronically monitored curfew between the hours of 7pm and 6am each day.
If you have been affected by issues of domestic violence or coercive control you can call Refuge's 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free. The number is 0808 2000 247.
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