A vicious thug who kicked and stamped on a woman during a violent attack in broad daylight has been locked up.

Andrew Davies was detained by members of public who intervened when they witnessed the brutal assault in Darlington town centre.

When police arrived on the scene the victim told officers that the 45-year-old had also threatened her with a knife on December 2 last year.

Although the woman did not support a police investigation, officers from Durham Constabulary pursued the case through an evidence-led prosecution due to the severity of the incident.

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Evidence-led prosecutions are used when a victim either withdraws their support during an investigation, or refuses to support an investigation from the outset, and sees police and prosecutors build cases in which they do not need to rely on the victim’s evidence.

The investigation resulted in Davies being charged with several offences, including assault, intentional strangulation, and possession of a bladed article.

He initially denied the offences but later changed his plea to guilty.

The Northern Echo: Andrew DaviesAndrew Davies (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Davies, of Kennard Road, Darlington, appeared at Teesside Crown Court where he was handed an extended prison sentence of five years.

Speaking after the sentencing hearing, Investigative Officer Heidi Weir and PC Amie Thornton, from Darlington Safeguarding Team, said: “Although the victim in this case did not support a prosecution, we are pleased our investigation has resulted in Davies – a violent and dangerous man - being jailed.

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“In cases such as this where victims are not supportive of an investigation, but a prosecution is in the public interest, we work extremely hard to build a watertight case that does not rely on evidence from victims to ensure offenders face the justice they deserve.

“We must also thank the brave members of the public who intervened during this incident and provided vital witness statements which have helped us to secure justice for the victim in this case.

“If you believe someone you know is suffering at the hands of an abuser, then please speak to us. We will do everything we can to protect them, support them, and keep them safe from harm.

“Call us on 101, or 999 in an emergency. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.”