Sleaford man jailed for strangling former partner after night out

A man who strangled his then partner following a night out in Sleaford was today (Thursday) jailed for 21 months.
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Matthew Lawrence, 49, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, which occurred in Sleaford on March 24, 2023.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Lawrence, of no fixed address, had spent the evening on a night out with his then partner.

Daniel Bishop, prosecuting, said Lawrence appeared to get upset by his partner speaking with male friends and the assault happened when they returned to the victim's home in Sleaford.

Jailed - Matthew Lawrence, 49. Photo: Lincs PoliceJailed - Matthew Lawrence, 49. Photo: Lincs Police
Jailed - Matthew Lawrence, 49. Photo: Lincs Police

"The defendant assaulted her by strangling her," Mr Bishop explained, "all be it she said her breathing was not restricted."

Mr Bishop said the victim was "compelled to leave her home" and spent the rest of the night at a friend's home.

When she returned home the next day Lawrence was still at her property.

"He told her he could not remember what happened and was said to be remorseful," Mr Bishop added.

Lincoln Crown Court.Lincoln Crown Court.
Lincoln Crown Court.

Mr Bishop said the victim suffered bruising to the left hand side of her neck.

During his police interview Lawrence denied any violence to his partner.

The court heard Lawrence had three previous convictions and was also in breach of a six month suspended sentence passed in January 2022 for offences of assault and breaching a non-molestation order.

On that occasion Lawrence, who is originally from Peterborough, threw a lap top at another ex-partner at a hotel in Essex.

Leanne Summers, mitigating for Lawrence, said his guilty plea was entered despite the victim no longer being supportive of the prosecution case.

Miss Summers said Lawrence accepted the prosecution case and was disgusted by the harm he caused.

"This wasn't prolonged," Miss Summers added.

The court heard Lawrence had failed to take his medication on the night of the assault and had been on remand in prison since September - the equivalent of a year long sentence.

Miss Summers argued society could be better served if Lawrence was now given help by the Probation Service.

"He is a working man, a gas engineer and has a property to move to if he is released," Miss Summers said.

Passing sentence Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight told Lawrence he strangled the victim after becoming jealous.

"You left bruising to the side of her neck," Judge Sjolin Knight explained. "It was clearly visible the next day.

"She left her own home and went to a friend’s."

Judge Sjolin Knight added: "Strangulation does not have to restrict breathing to be dangerous."

"In a drunk and angry state you went for her throat."