A released offender was "ill-equipped" to start a relationship with a young woman soon after ending his previous prison sentence, a court heard.

Bradley Simpson formed the relationship with the eventual victim of his drunken violence after leaving prison on licence from a sentence for attempted robbery, in April, last year.

Newcastle Crown Court was told initially things were fine between the pair and within weeks Simpson moved into the woman’s home as, at that time, he had nowhere to live, having been in a hostel since being granted his freedom.

Vince Ward, prosecuting, said once the defendant moved in, however, “things began to change”.

The Northern Echo: Bradley Simpson, 28, from Hartlepool, received a 27-month prison sentence at Newcastle Crown Court

Simpson had no money and so his partner supported him financially, but he also became unhappy with her spending time with other friends or family members.

Mr Ward said Simpson started to use violence on the woman, as seen on their return to her home after being out drinking, on July 1, last year.

“He became angry and began to scream at her, head butting her to the left cheek with considerable force.”

Mr Ward said the victim felt in great pain and was left with a black eye.

Her glasses were thrown from her face due to the force of the blow, but Simpson then stamped on them as they fell to the ground.

Despite the incident taking place in public, and witnessed by onlookers, Simpson acted as if nothing had happened.

Mr Ward said the victim, who usually visited her mother on a Sunday, chose not to do so the following day, because of the black eye.

The Northern Echo:

Days later, while drinking at home, Simpson was eating in the kitchen when his partner walked into the room.

He grabbed her throat and pinned the terrified woman to the door, “for quite some time”, leaving her struggling to breathe, until Simpson eventually let go.

At this point she asked him to leave, but he refused and then made as if he was strangling himself with the chord from her hair drier.

Mr Ward said Simpson did then leave and spent the night in a hotel, apologising to his victim in subsequent text messages, asking to be allowed to return.

But the woman’s friends persuaded her to contact social services and the police became involved.

When interviewed Simpson presented a statement to police denying there had been any violence within the relationship.

On the day the case was listed for trial, in January, the 28-year-old defendant, of Holt Street, Hartlepool, admitted charges of assault causing actual bodily harm and intentional strangulation.

The sentencing hearing was told he has four past convictions for seven offences, including wounding with intent, assaulting as police officer and the attempted knife-point robbery of a convenience store worker, for which he received a 42-month prison sentence in July 2021.

Mr Ward read the impact statement of Simpson’s latest victim to the court.

She said, at first, she could not have asked for a better boyfriend, but as time went on, “everything had to be done in his way”, and then the violence began, despite her having told the defendant of a previous abusive relationship she had endured.

The victim said she became scared of Simpson and was always anxious being around him, fearing he would turn violent.

She added that it would take her a long time to get over what happened during her time with the defendant.

Jonathan Harley, for Simpson, told the court: “There’s little I can say about the offending other than that it’s a lamentable course of action.

“He entered into this relationship shortly after his previous release from prison when he was ill-equipped to enter such a relationship.

“It was a recipe for disaster.

“With his inability to adopt to life outside, coupled with his use of alcohol, it descended into violence on his behalf.

“But, he’s a relatively young man still with an insight into his offending.

“He’s ashamed of his behaviour. He resorted to abusive behaviour as a means of coping.

“He has, nevertheless, demonstrated some understanding of his actions and the effect they have had on the victim in this case.

“It’s down to his inability to manage his emotions and he turns to alcohol to regulate that.”

Mr Harley added that having been recalled to prison until at least December, he realised the likelihood is that the sentence in this case will take him well beyond that date.

Recorder David Brooke KC told Simpson that having not long been released on licence he began a relationship in which he became, “violent and controlling.”

He said the impact of his offending was, “appalling”.

“It’s a sad thing to say this is a familiar pattern, behaving well and then becoming more and more controlling and violent in behaviour and then apologising.

“It’s a pattern causing such psychological harm to these women.

“It’s aggravated in your case by the fact you had just been released from custody.”

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Imposing a 27-month prison sentence, Recorder Brooke made Simpson subject to a ten-year restraining order prohibiting him from approaching or contacting his victim.

Asked by Simpson, who was on video link from HMP Durham, what happens if the complainant makes an approach to try to contact him, as he claimed she has done, Recorder Brooke told him: “You will simply have to ignore it.

“If she tries to make contact with you, you must not make contact her back.

“If you do contact her, it’s an offence in itself," he added.