Yob choked girlfriend in row after dog urinated on rug

Aaron Hunter
Aaron Hunter

A brute choked and bit his girlfriend when a boxing day row broke out over dog urine on a rug.

Aaron Hunter, 30, became angry and aggressive towards his pet when he got back from a night out with his girlfriend and saw that the floor was wet.

Newcastle Crown Court heard when the woman, who has asthma, stepped in to protect the animal, the violence was turned towards her.

Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told the court: "He found the dog had urinated and the defendant became angry with the dog."

The court heard the woman intervened when Hunter started behaving aggresively towards the pet.

Mr Wardlaw added: "He grabbed her throat and squeezed it.

"The defendant admits biting her nose."

The court heard the woman left her South Shields home and during a further struggle outside she ended up on the ground.

In a victim statement, she said: "I am in total shock about what happened and I am in fear for my safety.

"I truly thought he was going to kill me in the flat when he was choking me."

Hunter, of Leckendale, Leam Lane, Gateshead, admitted assault.

Miss Recorder Jo Kidd said the attack on December 26 last year was "disgraceful" and told him: "You accept holding her by the throat, which is a particularly dangerous act.

"I can see she suffers from asthma, which would make her particularly vulnerable to her airways being restricted.

"Having strangled her, you went on to bit her to the nose, a particularly vicious act.

"This was a sustained assault on the same victim."

The judge rejected Hunter's claim that he had been provoked.

Hunter was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with programme requirements and a three month, night time curfew.

He must stay away from the woman under the terms of a five year restraining order.

The court heard he has had to abide by a curfew while on bail.

The judge said the public would be better protected by Hunter receiving a sentence that involved intervention rather than immediate custody.

David Combe, defending, said Hunter and his victim may have both acted in a way they now regret.