October 18, 2019 4.01 pm This story is over 51 months old

Man who suffocated and assaulted girlfriend avoids jail

He previously slammed her head into a door and sink

A Lincolnshire man who left his girlfriend struggling to breathe when he put his hand over her mouth and nose was given a suspended jail sentence.

Stephen Paul Davis, 27, admitted engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour towards his partner over several months.

Lincoln Crown Court heard the couple were living in temporary accommodation in Mablethorpe when an incident occurred on August 3, this year.

Tony Stanford, prosecuting, said Davis squashed his hand into his partner’s face over her mouth and nose after she expressed a desire to leave and see her children.

She later told police: “I was struggling to breath, I thought he was going to kill me ”

Mr Stanford told the court Davis carried out an earlier incident of violence towards his girlfriend in December last year during a row in their bathroom.

On that occasion Davis took hold of his partner’s hair and slammed her head into the internal door and sink, the court heard.

She suffered a bleeding nose and tried to hide her injuries with make-up.

Mr Stanford said Davis also engaged in controlling behaviour towards his partner by taking her phone, checking her social media messages and stopping her from wearing make-up.

“What is clear is that he knew she was a vulnerable woman,” Mr Stanford added.

In an emotional victim impact statement which was read out in court the woman said she had been left homeless and living in a friend’s room after splitting from Davis.

She said: “I feel like my whole life has been destroyed systematically by Stephen.”

Leanne Summers, mitigating for Davis, told the court his mother, who lives in Liverpool, was willing to take him in.

Miss Summers said Davis had already served the equivalent of a three month jail sentence while on remand.

The court heard Davis also had a previous conviction for engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour to a previous partner.

Davis admitted engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour and a single charge of assault by beating.

He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years, and must also complete 20 rehabilitation days and a building better relationships course.

Recorder William Harbage QC also made a restraining order which prevents Davis from contacting his former girlfriend.

The Recorder told Davis it would be easy to lock him up but society would be served better by a suspended sentence.

“You have a problem with your attitude to women, and you need to change that,” the Recorder added.