Soldier jailed for wrapping hands around partner's neck during labour

The man, who can’t be named, has been jailed for eighteen months

The assault took place at Harrogate District Hospital

A soldier has been jailed after wrapping his hands around his partner's neck while she was in labour.

He also refused for her to be given pain medication such as gas and air and refused vaginal examinations, York Crown Court heard, leading midwives at Harrogate District Hospital to become concerned and contact police.

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The 24-year-old made death threats towards his girlfriend and their baby to try to stop her speaking out about his behaviour, said Matthew Collins, prosecuting.

The offence was a culmination of 17 months of coercive behaviour towards the victim, the court heard.

Mr Collins said the soldier regularly tried to 'humiliate and degrade' his partner, giving her a list of daily promises she must abide by and even forcing her to seek permission to visit the toilet, as well as sending recordings to prove this is where she was.

In a personal statement, the victim said the controlling behaviour had affected her mental health and caused her anxiety to worsen. She said her appetite was poor and she was having trouble with sleeping, as well as trusting other people.

Social services are now involved with her and her child, in light of the man's actions, which she said was very unfair and traumatic.

The soldier, who pleaded guilty to coercive behaviour from September 2019 to January 2021, as well as assault, has a previous conviction for domestic violence.

The court heard probation officers had assessed him as someone who posed a high risk to future partners.

Jailed for 18 months

Judge Simon Hickey jailed the 24-year-old for 18 months and he will be expected to serve at least half of his sentence in prison.

He was also served with a 10-year restraining order, which bans him from contacting the victim.

Judge Hickey said the defendant had even coerced his partner into hitting and injuring herself.

"This was not only a vulnerable young woman, but a young woman in labour," he added. "There cannot be a more vulnerable position for a woman to be in."

Defence solicitor Kevin Blount said the defendant, who is not being named in order to protect the identity of the woman, was "remorseful" for his actions and steps were being made to terminate his career in the army.

He added: "He is extremely keen to receive help and he has expressed that from the outset. He would wish to apologise to the victim and to express his remorse and very sincerely regrets he has acted in this way and the harm he has caused her.”

Mr Collins said the defendant had isolated his partner from her family during the relationship, left her feeling scared to leave the house and forced her to purchase items for him including new clothes and car parts.

This article originally appeared on our sister site the Yorkshire Post