An abusive man who threatened to kill his partner with a knife days after he choked her by grabbing her by the throat.

Dean Russell, who has a history of domestic violence, was breaching a restraining order when he moved back in with the woman and carried out his latest bout of violence.

The 31-year-old has previously served prison sentences for attacking the same woman throughout their long-running on/off relationship, Teesside Crown Court heard.

A judge heard how the defendant also sent letters to her home using the name of their daughter who had passed away.

Peter Sabiston, prosecuting, said the latest two incidents took place just days apart in the run up to Christmas last year.

Dealing with the first incident on December 19, he said: “An argument erupted between the during which he grabbed her by the throat causing her breathing issues.

“As she tried to free herself, he simply smiled before slapping her as he released her.”

Mr Sabiston said the second incident on December 23, Russell grabbed a knife from the kitchen and started threatening people, including his now ex-partner.

He said: “She feared for her life as he had stabbed her before.”

The court heard how Russell assaulted his victim again when he slammed a door onto her when he realised that the police were on the way to her Hartlepool home.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said she had been left upset and anxious after she received the letters with her deceased daughter’s name on them.

The Northern Echo: Dean RussellDean Russell (Image: Cleveland Police)

Russell, of no fixed abode but formerly from Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to a number of offences against the same woman before Christmas.

They are intentional strangulation from December 19 last year, making threats to kill on December 26, breach of a restraining order on the same day and two counts of assault by beating.

Tom Bennett, mitigating, said his client had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity following his arrest.

He added: “This is clearly a set of unpleasant offences and clearly serious offences and he is fully aware that he is going to receive a substantial custodial sentence.”

Judge Nathan Adams sentenced the domestic abuser to three years in prison for all offences.

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“You have an appalling record for violence,” he said. “Crack cocaine was involved in these incidents, you had taken drugs and acted appalling towards her.

“You grabbed a knife and threatened to kill her. You hit her whilst you were holding the knife – it must have been terrifying for her.

“There was no way she would have known that you weren’t going through with these threats.”

Russell was made subject of an indefinite restraining order.