An army veteran who suffered post traumatic stress disorder following two tours of duty has been locked up for assaulting his partner and a police officer.

Steven Files twice strangled his partner during drunken rows before attacking her again in the early hours of the day he was due in court.

The 35-year-old reacted angrily when police found him hiding in a wardrobe in the woman’s Darlington home and a scuffle ensued.

An officer suffered a broken leg and ankle damage when Files was resisting arrest after the woman’s father called the police on June 22 this year.

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Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said the officer’s body-worn footage showed how the defendant immediately became aggressive when he came out of the wardrobe before lunging at one of them.

He added: “The officer tried to take him to the floor, as he did so the officer’s leg twisted and caused his ankle to get stuck – he suffered a broken leg and ligament damage.”

Mr Dryden said the woman told officers that Files had attacked her earlier and thrown her onto the sofa and causing significant bruising to her foot.

He said the woman had been obstructive when police arrived at her home and attempted to prevent the officers entering.

The court heard how Files first attacked his partner in July 22 last year when they argued after a party and he grabbed her throat, squeezing the breath out of her.

The defendant then attacked her again several weeks later on September 9, this time he grabbed her throat and became increasingly abusive towards her.

The Northern Echo: Steven FilesSteven Files (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Files, of St James Lodge, Thirsk, pleaded guilty to two charges of non-fatal strangulation, a common assault and causing grievous bodily harm.

Tabitha Buck, mitigating, told Teesside Crown Court how her client was taking steps to deal with his PTSD but accepted that he needed further support.

She said he suffered hearing loss as the result of combat in Iraq and then faced the trauma of taking a colleague home after he was killed during an ambush while he was serving in Afghanistan.

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“He deeply regrets his behaviour, he knows he has let himself and his children down,” she added.

Recorder Felicity Davies sentenced Files to a total of 64 weeks for all offences.

She said: “All you had to do was calm down and accept your situation and the officer would not have been hurt.”

The judge did not impose a restraining order after hearing how the woman had been contacting the defendant in prison and telling him she wanted to continue their relationship.