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Rob Kennedy

Gosforth domestic violence thug who strangled and dragged partner by hair walks free

A domestic violence thug who strangled his partner and dragged her around by her hair in a terrifying attack has walked free from court.

Thomas Lowther's victim begged him "please don't kill" me as he launched an attack after a night out. A court heard she was left in pain for around three months and has been traumatised by what happened to her.

Lowther, of Gosforth, Newcastle, denied assault occasioning actual bodily harm but was found guilty after a trial. He has now been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to do unpaid work.

Read more: Blyth brute forced socks into woman's mouth and hit her with golf club during 'terrifying' attack

Newcastle Crown Court heard the then-couple had been out on September 4 2021 and the woman became separated from Lowther, didn't have her phone and ended up walking back to their home. When she got there, he appeared asleep and she knocked on the window.

Lowther was "immediately aggressive", called her an idiot, told her to go around to the other side and was violent as soon as she entered the flat. He put his hand around her neck and squeezed it then pushed or threw her against a bike rack, causing her to fall to the floor.

He still had his hands around her neck and she was unable to shout because of it. She pleaded with him but he then took hold of her hair and pulled her into the hallway.

The woman begged "please don't kill me" then managed to hit him with a shoe and run away, heading back towards the city centre and contacting the police, while Lowther drove around looking for her.

Thomas Lowther, who assaulted his girlfriend (Newcastle Chronicle)

In a victim impact statement, the woman said she believed he was going to kill her and said to describe the impact of the offence as "life-changing" would be an understatement. She claimed that five days before the attack, he had also put his hands around his neck while shouting at her, although he wasn't charged with that.

As a result of the assault, she was left with internal bruising around the base of her neck and down her spinal column and suffered pain which gradually lessened after three months following physio.

She moved out of her flat, which she attributed to what happened and said the "emotional trauma continued for months", adding: "I feared the man I loved and who claimed to love me in return."

Lowther, 29, of Elmfield Square, Gosforth, Newcastle, was found guilty after a trial of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Now a judge has sentenced him to 16 months suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid work and rehabilitation. He must also pay £1,500 compensation and was made subject to a ten-year restraining order.

Judge Robert Adams said: "This was wholly unacceptable behaviour on your behalf, causing misery. It must have been terrifying at the time. If you are not ashamed, you should be."

The court heard Lowther is doing a business management masters at Northumbria University and previously worked at Amazon but has a new job at a vehicle training centre. The court was given references saying Lowther's behaviour was out of character.

Fiona Lamb, defending, said: "The defendant has never been in trouble before and there are a lot of positive things to be said about him. "He owns a two-bedroom apartment in Gosforth and has a very good job, he's just been given new employment and will earn a very decent income.

"He has a new partner, she's a nurse and works at the RVI." Miss Lamb said Lowther has started taking medication as a result of previous publicity about his attack which she said was "difficult for him to see".

She added that alcohol played a role in his offending but he is not drinking now. Miss Lamb said: "This is someone he cared about very deeply and he regrets what he did and what he turned into when he had been drinking. He is very sorry for what happened. It's impacted his life and his parents' life."

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