Lorry driver jailed for grabbing his former partner by the throat in a ‘jealous rage’

An HGV driver is behind bars after he twice grabbed his former partner by the throat and squeezed during a terrifying attack.

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Ronald Southern snapped in a “jealous” rage on September 21, 2020, after the woman received a phone call from someone who accused her seeing another man, which he overheard.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Southern stopped the victim from leaving her own home then grabbed her throat with his right hand and “applied enough pressure to cause pain and prevent her from breathing”.

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The court heard after the first, 20-second phase of the attack, the victim managed to get away but he followed, grabbed her throat and squeezed it again.

Southern was arrested nearby in possession of the woman’s mobile phone, which he had repeatedly asked to see during the violence.

Newcastle Crown Court. Newcastle Crown Court.
Newcastle Crown Court.

The 65-year-old, of Commercial Road in South Shields, denied assault but was found guilty by a jury after a trial in May and has been remanded in custody since.

The victim bravely attended the sentence hearing this morning and read an impact statement which said Southern had “no respect or regard for my wellbeing” during their relationship and left her feeling “a prisoner in my own home”.

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She said her self confidence ended up at rock bottom but added: “I finally like myself, I am worthy and for that I am truly grateful.”

Judge Penny Moreland sentenced Southern, who continues to deny his guilt, to 21 months behind bars and issued a restraining order to protect the victim.

The judge told him: “You were at the home address of a woman with whom you were in a relationship.

“I am satisfied you were enraged with jealousy because another woman had accused her of having an affair with her partner.

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“You put your hand to her throat and squeezed for a period of about 20 seconds so that her breathing was obstructed. She got away from you and she tried to leave the room but you prevented her from doing so and you strangled her again.

“She was eventually able to make her escape and she ran directly to a neighbour’s for assistance.”

Judge Moreland said Southern has been assessed as a “high risk of assault to any partner”.

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Christopher Knox, defending, had urged the judge to suspend the prison term term and said Southern is an HGV driver for an agency and is willing and able to go back to work if he was released from custody.

Mr Knox told the court: “He has established himself a new relationship, his new partner speaks very highly of him.”

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