A MAN who choked his pregnant partner on the day her dad died while he was high on drugs has been sent to prison.

Steven Crow, 39, had been smoking cannabis and attacked his partner after she became upset because she could not get to Newcastle to see her family.

Durham Crown Court heard she had just received the devastating new of her father’s death when the attack took place on December 15.

Jenny Haigh, prosecuting said: “That was the date that her father had died.

“She was pregnant and upset when they argued.

“She was very stressed and the defendant was under the influence of drugs.

"She was on the settee and he lost his temper. He placed his hands around her neck. It was sore and made her cough.”

The court heard it was not the first time he had attacked her and he had two previous convictions for being violent towards her.

She ended the relationship the following day, but he bombarded her with messages over the phone and through social media, begging her to take him back.

He called her mother and threatened to "get them all done over" if they went to the police.

Crow’s former partner told officers: "I am scared of him now. I cannot grieve my father. He won’t allow me to."

She said she felt scared in her own home and feared he would turn up at the door.

The court was told Crow now accepts the relationship is over.

Ms Haigh said Crow told police things had got out of hand on December 15.

She said: “He said he had tried to restrain her because she was ‘going off it’.

“She was stressed and had broken things in the house.

“He said he hadn’t dealt with the situation appropriately.”

Crow told police afterwards he had just wanted to win her back.

Crow, of Windermere Road, South Hetton, had previously pleaded guilty to assault, harassment and breach of suspended sentence imposed for burglary at three commercial premises.

No mitigation was offered by his barrister, Steven Reed.

Judge Jonathan Carroll imposed a four-month sentence for breaching his suspended sentence as well as a further four-week term for the assault and harassment.

The judge said: “It would have been a stressful day for everyone the family, not least for your partner because her father had died.

“She was stressed and upset. You sadly were under the influence of drugs.

“I can quite understand how things got out of hand but you can’t let drug influenced behaviour lead to violence.”

The judge said he had no option but to send him back to prison.

He said: “You put your hands around her neck.

“When hands go around the neck the custody threshold is crossed.”