Dad beat and choked pregnant girlfriend in Facebook flirting row

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A DAD-TO-BE launched a savage attack on his heavily pregnant girlfriend after accusing her of flirting on Facebook.

Connor Barrett, of Coach Road Estate, Usworth, Washington, bit his eight-month pregnant girlfriend, punched her in the ribs and started to choke her during the assault in July.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 18-year-old had thought she was “nagging” him via text while he was on a night out with pals after arranging to stay in with her.

In the early hours of the following morning Barrett, who admitted assault and already has convictions for violence against his mother and sister, accused her of talking to other men on Facebook and having affairs.

Prosecutor Paul Rowland told the court: “She was trying to reassure him. She was lying on the bed and states he climbed on top of her.

“Thereafter there followed what can only be described as a prolonged assault. It began with him punching her to the thigh, telling her he was gong to hit her where no bruises could be seen. He bit her right leg and also on the left shoulder.

“She was crying and trying to get away from him but in view of her condition was finding it difficult.”

Mr Rowland said Barrett punched her in the ribs and banged her head off the wardrobe. His victim fell to the floor where Barrett started to choke her.

The court heard that Barrett ordered her to go Facebook and prove she had not been cheating, but she was so badly shaken with fear she could not enter her password.

Before Barrett eventually calmed down he tried to put a flex around her neck but she managed to stop him.

Mr Rowland told the court the victim said in a statement she was shocked her boyfriend of more than a year had done this to her while she was 31 weeks pregnant and said she felt more vulnerable because of her condition.

Mr Recorder Toby Hedworth QC sentenced Barrett, who has spent time on remand since the attack, to 10 months in a young offenders’ institution, suspended for two years, with domestic violence programme and other requirements. He was also banned from contacting his victim for the next two years under the terms of a restraining order.

Jamie Adams, defending, said Barrett wants to go through appropriate channels to see his child.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho