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Man jailed for violent attack on ex-partner
A THUG who attacked his ex-girlfriend in her home has been jailed for six months.
Andre Berley grabbed Kelly Nicholls by the hair and pinned her to the floor.
A trial at Oxford Magistrates’ Court heard Ms Nicholls feared for her life during the assault, which went on for more than 30 minutes. Ann Sawyer-Brandish, prosecuting, said: “She said it felt like it lasted forever.
“He sat on her and pinned her arms down with his knees. At one point he took his shirt off and threw it to the floor and then held it tightly over her neck.
“She felt like her eyes were popping out of her head and was terrified he was going to kill her.
“He then pulled her by the hair from the kitchen to the living room and was shouting and swearing at her.”
The court heard she had been in a relationship with the defendant on and off for about five years.
Ms Sawyer-Brandish added: “Throughout that time he was controlling and possessive but never violent. But after they broke up the behaviour became worse.”
The court heard the attack happened on July 7 after an argument in her kitchen in Blackbird Leys She suffered bruising to her neck and arms during the incident.
Berley, 24, of Sandy Lane, Littlemore, had pleaded not guilty to assault by beating on August 24 last year, but was convicted on December 7.
Warwick Clarke, defending, said the relationship had been “volatile.”
He added that Ms Nicholls had left messages on Berley’s Facebook page since the attack.
He said: “She said that she had every affection for him, loved him and wanted to be near him, but did not want to be in a relationship with him.
“She said she wanted the old Andre back. It is not completely black and white.
“But things got bad between them by the end of November.”
Jailing Berley for six months – the maximum sentence the magistrates could impose – chairman of the bench Mark Howard said: “The offence is so serious that a custodial sentence is justified.
“The attempts at strangulation and suffocation were meant to cause more harm. It also took place in the home – in the domestic setting.”
Berley,who appeared before the magistrates on Wednesday for sentencing, also faced a charge of failing to surrender to police and court bail.
He was late arriving for the initial hearing on December 7, an offence to which he pleaded guilty.
No further sentence was imposed.