Galashiels man jailed after choking partner during bust-up

A WOMAN feared her partner was going to kill her as he put his hands round her neck and squeezed it, restricting her breathing during a bust-up.

Thirty-three-year-old Alex Russell had already attempted to choke the woman when she managed to break free and opened the window of her block of flats and screamed for help. But Russell again grabbed her by the neck and squeezed it for 30 seconds before pulling her inside the flat.

Selkirk Sheriff Court was told that this was witnessed by neighbours who called the police.

Russell, of Croft Street, Galashiels, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault to injury and danger of life and was jailed for more than two years.

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Depute fiscal Joanna Waller said: “They had been in a relationship for nine and a half months and were in the property together till about midnight. The accused then became violent towards her for no apparent reason.”

Ms Waller described how he chased the woman around the flat, grabbing her chest and punching her on the body, before squeezing her neck and causing breathing difficulties.

“She was terrified and thought the accused was going to kill her,” said the depute fiscal.

The woman suffered bruising to her neck and chest. The court heard how the woman had written a letter saying she wanted the relationship to continue.

But Sheriff Peter Paterson said the victim needed to be protected “whatever she might wish” and imposed a Non Harassment Order for three years preventing Russell from contacting her.

Russell’s 26-month jail sentence was back-dated to October 18 when he was first remanded in custody in connection with the attack.

Border Telegraph | News