A MAN carried out a sustained assault on his partner after becoming increasingly “paranoid” that she was being unfaithful to him, a court heard.

Michael Jobes would check his partner’s mobile phone and began to insist that she told work colleagues and other friends that she had a boyfriend.

Durham Crown Court heard that for four months the relationship went smoothly, but by late last year his behaviour changed and his suspicions over his partner’s activities led to arguments, as he accused her of cheating on him.

Phillip Morley, prosecuting, said one example was on November 20, when Jobes grew steadily angrier as she received Snapchat messages from colleagues.

Mr Morley said that was when Jobes first insisted she let them know she had a boyfriend, but in his anger he smashed a wine bottle and also threw her phone at the wall.

Jobes then slapped her with an open palm and continued to be aggressive, pulling his partner from the couch.

Mr Morley said on December 16 they argued while at the shops and he threw the shopping to the ground, making his partner pick it up as he grabbed her ponytail.

On the way home he warned her: “God help you. You know what’s coming.”

When they got home he carried out the sustained assault, slapping her, dragging her across the floor and twice grabbing her by the throat, strangling her to the point where she thought she would die, begging him to release her, while he also stamped on her as she tried to get to her feet, in a state of disorientation.

He demanded, “to know the lad’s name” warning her she had three seconds to reveal who he believed she was having a relationship with, or he would kill her.

Jobes, again, took the phone from her, throwing it onto a table, causing damage.

Having also given her a three-second ultimatum to drink vodka from a bottle, he went to the kitchen to grab a knife, threatening to, “chop her up.”

Mr Morley said at this point the defendant’s behaviour changed and he apologised, persuading her to stay that night.

But the following morning Jobes again became angry when she failed to give him a “goodbye kiss” as she set off for work.

Mr Morley said having left for work the victim raised the alarm with her mother and Jobes was arrested.

Although he gave a largely “no comment” police interview, he conceded he had a row with his partner, caused by his claim that she was “cheating” on him.

The victim’s impact statement was read to the court in which she said she continues to have nightmares and flashbacks to the incidents, while she has given up her home and returned to live with her family, fearing Jobes may turn up and she may not survive this time.

She conceded the trauma of the relationship has led her to drink more heavily and she has lost her job due to her sickness levels worsening.The 34-year-old defendant, of Windsor Place, Shotton Colliery, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, criminal damage and putting a person in fear of violence, by harassment.

Read more: Concerns raised over 'scary' Durham domestic violence figures

Helen Towers, in mitigation, said Jobes should receive some discount on sentence, having pleaded guilty, and added that while on remand in Durham Prison he has been subject to strict Covid-enforced regime, but has become a trusted inmate, with responsibilities.

Judge James Adkin said the defendant has, “a bad record for violence” and imposed a 22-month prison sentence due to the “significant impact” his offending has had on the complainant.

He also made Jobes subject to a lifetime restraining order prohibiting him from approaching or contacting her, at risk of further prison sentences should he breach its terms.

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