Man accused of strangling ex with her dress

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A MAN has gone on trial accused of attempting to strangle his former partner with her dress.

Declan Fusco wrapped the dress around the neck of Bobbi Lee during a car journey in the early morning to buy more drink, a jury at Durham Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Chris Baker said Fusco confronted Ms Lee and her friend, Rebecca Scollins, at the house of a mutual friend earlier in the evening.

The court was told Fusco was “aggressive” and grabbed Ms Lee by the face and punched her in the stomach.

Ms Scollins saw the assault and tried to step in but Fusco punched her in the face and stomach, it was said.

The jury heard both women fled to a house in Peterlee but Fusco followed them.

The court was told Ms Scollins tried to call police but Fusco took her phone and smashed it with a hammer.

“Fusco was now out of control,” said Mr Baker.

“He was shouting and making threats to both women.

“He began smashing various items in the house.

The women agreed to his demands to give him a lift to get more drink, with Ms Scollins driving.

Mr Baker said that during the journey Fusco picked up a dress in the car and wrapped it around Bobbi Lee’s throat, “apparently trying to strangle her.”

The court heard Fusco declined to answer questions from police. He gave them a prepared statement admitting arguing with Ms Lee, but denying assault.

Fusco, 22, of Rydal Crescent, Peterlee, denies assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault, and breach of a restraining order.

He admits destroying property and damaging property.

All offences are alleged to have happened between September 13 and 15, last year.