`

Violent boyfriend threatened to kill partner after she refused to perform sex act on him

editorial image

A brute made "bloodcurdling" threats to shoot his partner and police officers - after she refused to perform a sex act on him.

Michael Appleby was furious after his long-term partner said she would not perform the sex act and headbutted her in the face during the prolonged, angry stand-off that followed.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 36-year-old eventually left the family home in Jarrow, armed with three knives but then made repeated calls issuing sinister death threats.

Appleby, of Sheraton, Leam Lane, Gateshead, who pleaded guilty to common assault, possession of bladed articles and making theats to kill, has now been locked up for two years.

Prosecutor Nicholas Lane told the court Appleby had been with his partner for six years when she tried to have an afternoon conversation with him in their bedroom on February 10.

Mr Lane said: "The defendant didn't answer. Instead, he asked that she perform [a sex act] on him.

"She refused and this appeared to anger the defendant, saying she was always like this."

The court heard Appleby started arguing about "perceived problems with the couple's sex life" before he flew into a rage and was told to leave the house.

Mr Lane added: "The defendant approached her and headbutted her, once. She describes being in immediate pain and falling back against a banister."

The court heard the blow, which happened before he left the house with the three knives, caused bruising and swelling to the bridge of the victim's nose.

Appleby made the death threats during telephone calls after he left the house.

Mr Lane said: "He made threats to kill her and shoot her. He made repeated telephone calls, during which he also threatened to shoot and kill police officers."

The victim told police her relationship with Appleby had been "fine" until he was stabbed in around 2014 and his "personality changed".

She said in a statement: "I believed he would have done this" and said she had been terrified during the incident.

She added: "I honestly believed Michael was going to kill me."

Mr Recorder John Aitken sentenced Appleby to two years behind bars with a restraining order to keep him away from his victim.

The judge said: "You had been telephoning the most bloodcurdling threats to her, intending her to take them seriously and be very afraid of what you might do.

"She took those threats seriously."

The court heard Appleby has a previous conviction for common assault on the same victim.

Jo Kidd, mitigating, said Appleby has been suffering "significant and complex post traumatic stress disorder" which contributed to the offences.

Miss Kidd said Appleby, who had been the victim of a "serious and life threatening assault", has engaged with mental health services.

She added: "Mental health problems are at the heart of his offending."