Sunderland man choked girlfriend unconscious - after being spared jail for doing same to his ex

Thomas Mason has been jailed for 13 months for strangling his girlfriend unconscious.
Thomas Mason has been jailed for 13 months for strangling his girlfriend unconscious.
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A violent boyfriend strangled his girlfriend until she lost consciousness - within months of walking free for an identical attack on his ex.

Emma Scott thought she was going to die when Thomas Mason choked her until she passed out as they lay in bed together at her home last June.

At the time of the terrifying attack, Mason was on a suspended sentence for strangling former partner Gemma Armstrong, who also lost consciousness because of his violence.

Mason, 33, of Okehampton Square, Carley Hill, Sunderland, admitted assault, and Judge Stephen Earl sentenced him to 13 months behind bars.

The judge told him: "This was an appalling offence against Miss Scott in what was her own home, where she is entitled to feel most safe, by a partner from whom she is entitled to protection, not violence.

"You were on a suspended sentence for an almost identical set of offending, in almost identical circumstances. This is appalling domestic violence."

Prosecutor Paul Currer told the court Mason, who had been drinking whiskey, had started strangling Miss Scott, who had had been seeing for about 20 months, after a row about Facebook as they were lying in bed last June.

The court heard Mason had ordered Miss Scott to delete a male friend she had on the social networking site, to which she agreed.

Mr Currer said: "It was clear he had a problem with her having any contact with this other man and became agitated and repeatedly insisted she wasn't to have any contact with him.

"Suddenly and without warning, as they were lying in bed, she was gripped around her neck.

"She describes being absolutely terrified, not being able to breathe or do anything other than panic. She describes fearing she would die.

"The next thing she remembers is waking up on the floor with her head on his lap. She felt shock and terror."

The court heard Miss Scott was forced to lie beside the man who had caused her such fear, and left ugly bruising around her neck, until he got up to go to work.

In a victim impact statement she told police: "I honestly thought I was going to die. I have never felt so terrified, weak and powerless in my life."

Miss Scott said she was forced to tell her attacker she loved him and lie beside him all night, fearing he would lash out again.

She said: "It was so degrading and horrible to be in such a situation like this."

When he was arrested, Mason told police there had been no argument and Miss Scott may have caused the injuries to herself.

Mason had been given a suspended sentence in 2013 for an almost identical attack on then-partner Gemma Armstrong in her home.

Mr Currer said: "She had received a text message which the defendant asked to see. She refused to let him see it and he tried to grab the phone.

"He then grabbed her by the neck and put pressure around her throat. As a result of that, she too was rendered unconscious."

Mason beat her up in a separate attack two days later, and Judge Earl said there was "remarkable similarities" in the attacks on the two women.

Jamie Adams, defending, said Mason has now realised alcohol, which he'd had before both attacks, was "poison" for him.

He said Mason, who has a good work record, has now acknowledged he needs help to address his issues with drinking and temper.