A man attacked and strangled his girlfriend after they argued over household chores.
Nicholas Rose subjected his former girlfriend to violent attacks between March and August last year, strangling and beating her. The 24-year-old’s attacks have become so common that his partner has resorted to shaving his head so he can no longer grab hold of it during the assaults.
Rose, of Church Street, Shildon, appeared at Durham Crown Court on Friday to be convicted of assault and battery causing actual bodily harm. Jonathan Gittins, prosecuting, said the pair had been in a relationship and moved in together in February last year and were living in Newton Aycliffe – but Rose became violent around April.
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Mr Gittins said: “One day in April the defendant came into the living room and yelled at her about housework. He put his hands around her throat and squeezed her for about five to 10 seconds. He then punched her in the face three to four times but caused no physical injury.”
Weeks later, Rose attacked the woman again following an argument over chores. Mr Gittins added: “He dragged her off the sofa by her hair, sat on her and choked her for seconds at a time. The complainant had difficulty breathing and had a seizure asthma before the defendant pushed her onto the couch and strangled her before dragging her to the floor by her hair.”
The court heard the woman was briefly knocked unconscious and was bleeding at the time.
Mr Gittins said the woman had resorted to shaving her head to ‘stop any further seizures in the future’. Rose attacked the woman again in August and only stopped after a dog bit her in the leg. On August 22, another argument ensued over a washing machine, he again “tightened her throat” to the point that the woman stopped breathing. Fortunately, she managed to run to the bathroom where the police were called. On the phone, Rose grabbed her neck again and pushed her face into a mirror.
In a victim impact statement, the woman said she felt “totally helpless” and suffered from anxiety and depression as a result of Rose’s abuse.
Ashleigh Leach, defending, said Rose has ‘gender transition issues’ and is female-to-male transgender and ‘needs to undergo full surgery to fully transition later this year’ . She said an immediate custodial sentence would cause her “significant hardship”. Ms Leach said Rose claimed the woman shaved her head for ‘cancer research’ and the relationship was ‘totally toxic’. She added that due to Rose’s transition he was taking testosterone, which Ms Leach said “may have had an impact on his level of aggression”.
The convict, recorder Benjamin Nolan QC, said: “All serious offenses appear to have involved you strangling him or attempting to strangle him. A pre-sentence report reveals a number of interesting aspects of this case.
“At the time you transitioned your gender from female to male, I suspect you were using testosterone for this purpose and that may well have played a significant role in your aggressive behavior.”
Recorder Nolan said Rose also suffered from mental health issues and “emotional difficulties”.
He added: “I am seriously concerned about how you would cope with a custodial sentence and consider that you yourself would be a potential victim in prison which would have an impact on your mental health.” Rose was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years and must complete 30 days of rehabilitation activities. A five-year restraining order was also issued.