Man jailed after choking girlfriend and threatening to kill her pet kittens
A man who told his girlfriend he was going to kill her as he choked her with his arms around her throat has been jailed for 27 months.
Daniel Matthewman, from Selby, also threatened to drown his girlfriend’s kittens and torch her car, York Crown Court has heard.
The 29-year old’s reign of terror spanned from April to October 2020 whilst in an 18-month relationship with his victim.
Prosecutor Matthew Collins said the Matthewman’s girlfriend reported him to the police. He called her from a withheld number and said: “You need to watch your back as there are people who want to kick your head in.”
He refused to tell his petrified girlfriend who these people were but said he’d given them her address and that they would be over to “chop her head off” and that he’d torch her car.
His girlfriend recorded that phone call in October 2020 and the police were able to use it as evidence against Matthewman.
‘Violent and abusive’
The court heard how Matthewman’s numerous assaults left his girlfriend fearing for her life. In April 2020, having let himself into her home, he called her telling her to come home from her friend’s immediately, as one of her cats was injured.
But when his girlfriend returned he pushed her into the bath, then ran after her to the bedroom where he covered her mouth and nose with his hand, leaving her struggling to breathe, before telling her he was going to kill her.
In May, Matthewman turned up at her house. He barged his way in, got hold of her mobile phone and car keys and smashed them on the road, breaking them both.
When his girlfriend screamed at a neighbour outside to help her, Matthewman dragged her back into the house and held her up against the wall by her throat.
By August of last year, Matthewman was threatening to take her cat off her and kill it, as he pinned her to the doorframe in her home. After the attack, his girlfriend cowered in her bedroom with a chest of drawers up against the door to stop him coming in.
In October, his girlfriend reported him to the police after he threatened to drown her kittens in the river.
Matthewman, who lives on Nalton Street in Selby, pleaded guilty to one charge of causing actual bodily harm, three counts of assault, witness intimidation and criminal damage to his girlfriend’s phone and car keys.
Defending Matthewman, solicitor Neal Kutte said that Matthewman had taken responsibility for his behaviour, saying: “This is all on me. I only have myself to blame.”
Matthewman knew his relationship was coming to an end and he struggled to accept it. He stopped taking his medication and began drinking heavily, leaving him angry and violent. He had struggled with mental health problems for years. Every offence he had committed was when he had been drinking.
Matthewman asked his solicitor to let his ex-girlfriend know that he will never go near her again and that he was sorry.
The court heard that Matthewman had been back on his medication whilst in custody, and that his mood had become more positive. The 29-year-old intends to make a fresh start in Northern Ireland, where his dad lives, when he was released from prison.
Jailing Matthewman, Judge Sean Morris told him: “When in drink you are a violent, controlling and abusive individual.” The judge added, “this lady is clearly very attached to her cats” and that Matthewman’s threats had been cruel.
Matthewman was made subject to a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting his ex-girlfriend or going to the street where she lives.