Woman thought she would die at the hands of her partner during brutal attack

Credit: Durham constabulary

A County Durham man who ripped out a clump of his partner's hair and choked her during a violent attack, has been jailed.

John Clemenson, from Bishop Auckland, was sentenced to 32 months behind bars and handed two restraining orders after an unprovoked attack on his on-off girlfriend, which left her with "blood dripping from her nose and mouth".

His victim said she feared for her life as he "punched and kicked" her while she was on the floor. The brutal assault began on 12 November 2021 and continued into the early hours of 13 November.The woman was staying at the address of a "disabled man" at the time. After the attack, he returned to the man's home and trashed his belongings. The disabled man who lived at the address described Clemenson as "intoxicated".

Clemenson, 38, appeared at Durham Crown Court, via video link from HMP Durham, to be sentenced for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage.Chris Baker, prosecuting, said Clemenson punched the woman in the head and "grabbed her by the throat".Some of the woman's hair had also been "pulled from the front of her head" during the attack.The police were called and Clemenson left the scene, but he returned to the address later that night. By this point, the woman had been taken to a "place of safety", but Clemenson again "lost control" and began kicking the downstairs doors.Police soon arrested Clemenson while he was still at the address.In a victim statement, the woman said the attack was "unprovoked and out of the blue" and that she thought she would be killed. She added that she has been "on edge" ever since.Paul Newcombe, defending, said Clemenson was "ashamed" and said he "struggled with drugs". He said that prior to the incident, Clemenson had been attacked in a pub and has "no memory" of committing the offence as a result.Judge James Adkin, the Recorder of Durham, said it was a "persistent assault" and that Clemenson had a "bad criminal record".He was also on licence for a weapons offence at the time. The judge added that it was "a little unclear" as to why Clemenson carried out the attack.

Clemenson, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to 32 months behind bars and handed two restraining orders.