Man who strangled woman and 'left her for dead' in Wigan park jailed
A man who confessed to his mum that he "may have murdered someone" hours after leaving a woman for dead in a country park has been jailed.
Shane Woods, 33, subjected his victim to a brutal assault after she made a joke about his son and left her at Haigh Woodland Park in Wigan on 21 May 2022.
Bolton Crown Court heard Woods had met up with his victim in the early hours of the morning after speaking to her on social media, and that they drank alcohol and took cocaine after making their way to the park.
The woman could not recall how the assault started but said that when she regained consciousness on one occasion, Woods' hands were around her throat, strangling her.
She drifted in and out of consciousness and the court was told that one of the times she came round, she believed she had suffered a stroke because her face was so swollen.
Woods returned home at 7:30am, asked his brother to wash his clothes and headed to bed.
It was not until around 90 minutes later, at 9am, that the woman was discovered by a passer-by who heard her crying for help.
She was discovered propped up against a tree and was still slipping in and out of consciousness.
The woman had suffered severe bruising to her face and head.
There was swelling above her right eye socket and cheek, with a cut along her right jaw bone and on the inside of a swollen upper lip.
There were also multiple bruises and abrasions to her torso and limbs, and after being rushed to hospital, a CT scan revealed a small subarachnoid haemorrhage - a stroke caused by a bleed on the brain.
She was also found to be suffering from mild hypothermia.
In a victim personal statement, the woman said that the attack has had a "significant continuing physical and psychological impact" upon her.
She also stated that further surgery will be needed.
Bolton Crown Court heard a few hours after returning home, Woods confessed to his mum that he "may have murdered someone" and asked her to call 999.
When arrested, Woods made reference to showing the police "where the body was".
During his interview, Woods told officers that the assault had occurred because he had "taken offence at a joke which she had made about his son."
He denied that he intended to kill the woman or that he had intended to cause her really serious harm.
Woods was originally charged with attempted murder but pleaded not guilty and instead admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent at a hearing in October, which was accepted by the Crown.
Judge Walsh detailed Woods' "troubling antecedent history", which included an incident in 2009 when he attacked another man with a knife "without any apparent motive".
There were further offences of robbery in 2013, as well as affray, possession of a knife, and making threats to kill in 2015.
Judge Walsh also read from a pre-sentence report, in which a probation officer deemed Woods as posing a very high risk of causing serious harm to the public.
The report read: "Due to the static and dynamic risk factors in this case, including the seriousness of the current offence, the seriousness of his previous offending, substance misuse, emotional difficulties, significant domestic violence concerns underpinning attitudes of resentment towards females, and a propensity to extreme aggressive and violent behaviour... it is my assessment that Mr Woods poses a very high risk of serious harm".
Woods, of Balcarres Road, Aspull, was jailed for 11-and-a-half years, with an extended licence period of five years.