Psychotic ex tried to throttle Burnley woman
A TERRIFIED mother-of-two whose psychotic ex-partner strangled her until she became unconscious believed she could have died but for a friend arriving, a court heard.
Ben Almond, 34, had flown into a rage and left Nicolette Simpson badly injured after throttling her on the floor at her own home.
When police, alerted by the friend, arrived, they found the defendant with his arm ‘strongly’ around the victim.
She was bleeding heavily from a gash above her eye, was petrified and shaking, blood was spattered all over the floor and she had hand and finger marks around her neck.
Prosecutor Sarah Statham told Burnley Crown Court: “It’s her honest belief that had the friend not come into the room when she did, she might not be alive.”
The hearing was told Almond had suffered mental health problems for many years. After he was taken into custody, a psychiatrist reported he was severely unwell, heard voices asking him to kill himself and had side effects from his withdrawal from medication. He had received treatment in prison and his symptoms and psychosis seemed to have receded.
The defendant struck in breach of a six-week suspended jail term, imposed in June, for possessing a Samurai sword in the street. In 2007, he had trashed a former girlfriend's home with a hammer.
Almond, of Linby Street, Burnley, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm on August 7. He was locked up for a total of 17 months and given an indefinite restraining order, banning him from contacting Ms Simpson.
Richard Taylor, for Almond, said he was not unintelligent and had significant insight into his difficulties.
Sentencing, Recorder Philip Parry said a psychiatrist felt it was possible that at the time, the defendant may well have been experiencing a relapse in his illness.