Sunderland sex offender jailed after attacking girlfriend because another man 'liked' her Facebook post

Dillon Murray
Dillon Murray

A sex offender who attacked his girlfriend after another man "liked" one of her Facebook posts has been put behind bars.

Dillon Murray was on a suspended sentence order for having sex with an underage girl when he lashed out at his partner as they lay in bed together on January 4.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 22-year-old had been looking through his partner's social media posts before he attacked her.

Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told the court: "He had been looked at her Facebook. He quizzed her about a male who liked a Facebook post.

"He got on top of her and punched her twice. He got out of bed and punched her again, to the head.

"She managed to calm him.

"The defendant pushed her onto the bed, held a pillow over her face. She couldn't breath and he held the pillow there.

"She asked him to take the pillow off and he did."

The court heard the attack was one of three similar violent episodes in a period of just days between late December and early January.

During an assault in December, which again started when the couple were in bed, Murray "put his hands around her throat and applied some force and she struggled to breathe."

In a later confrontation, which happened in the street, Murray grabbed his victim by her ponytail in the street.

The woman, who suffered bruising due to the violence, told police in a victim impact statement: "I feel sick when I think about what he has been doing to me and that I have allowed him to keep doing it.

"It's just not right."

Murray, of Edward Burdis Street, Sunderland, was convicted after a trial by magistrates of three offences of common assault.

He pleaded guilty to breach of a non-molestation order imposed after the violence to keep him away from the woman and to causing criminal damage by breaking a window at her property in May.

He also admitted burglary at his parents' home after he entered without permission and took car keys in July.

The court heard at the time of the violence offences Murray was on a suspended sentence, imposed in May 2016, for having sex with an underage girl in a park.

Judge Stephen Earl, who imposed the suspended prison term two years ago, has now sentenced Murray to 23 months behind bars with restraining orders to keep him away from his victims.

The judge said: "I told him, in no uncertain terms, he could expect a custodial sentence were he to breach it because he was very lucky not to have received a custodial sentence in May 2016.

"He has not kept his end of the bargain."

Vic Laffey, defending, said Murray realises he needs to change his behaviour and has worked to achieve qualifications in prison.

Mr Laffey said Murray accepts there is no future in the relationship he had with his victim.