A drunken thug who punched his partner to the ground before strangling her following a row over the television has been locked up.

Darren Coull had spent the night celebrating his mother’s birthday with the pair before heading to the house where his partner was living.

Teesside Crown Court heard how violence erupted when the 34-year-old reacted angrily to his victim’s choice of TV programme and threw her mobile phone at the screen at the house in Peterlee.

Cainan Lonsdale, prosecuting, said: “The defendant slapped her to the face, she punched him on the arm in response and tried to push him away as she was scared of him.

“She walked into another room and he followed her, he punched her to the face and knocked her to the floor. The defendant then jumped on top of her.

“He put his hands around her neck and squeezed really tightly and she described it as being difficult to breathe.”

Coull, of Penarth Walk, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to intentional strangulation, assault by beating, and criminal damage, as a result of his attack on his partner of two-and-a-half years.

Martin Scarborough, mitigating, said his client had a long history of alcohol abuse but was now taking steps to address his problem.

He said: “He was drinking that night and accepts that. To his credit, he had been doing some work in prison about his alcohol consumption while he has been on remand.”

See more court stories from The Northern Echo by clicking here

Get more from The Northern Echo with a digital subscription. Click here

The Northern Echo:

Recorder Felicity Davies jailed Coull for a total of ten months for all offences committed against the woman he had known for more than 20 years.

She said: “It seems to have been going well for quite a long time until she describes a few months ago how you began to behave in a violent way on a number of occasions.

“On this evening, you were celebrating your mother’s birthday. You were all drinking and you in particular had been drinking a lot.

“It is clear that you had a considerable amount to drink and that is against a background of you having a problem with alcohol.”