"You have been messaging Peter": Jealous thug battered ex-girlfriend after accusing her of cheating on him - a court heard he presents a risk to women

By Amy Walker

A jealous thug battered his sleeping ex-girlfriend following a party after going through her phone and accusing her of cheating on him.

Thomas Hughes, 31, and his former partner were at the same party when she decided to go to bed as she was tired.

Shortly after, she woke to find him towering over her before he claimed she had been messaging another man, Manchester Crown Court heard.

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Hughes, of Blackley, then grabbed her by the neck and began to repeatedly punch her to the face and body.

During the attack she pleaded with him to stop and he eventually allowed her to leave the house.

However, he tracked her down and pulled up alongside her demanding her to get in the car with him.

He then poured a bottle of water over her head and even said he would put her in a lock up.

The woman, who was 20 at the time, was left with a broken nose, fractured eye socket and had bruises over her face and body.

Manchester Crown Court (ABNM Photography)

Hughes pleaded guilty to an offence of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm and was today jailed for 20 months.

Prosecuting, Harriet Lavin told the court that the couple had met in September 2019 through mutual friends and began a relationship around Christmas time.

However, in April 2020 she ended the relationship after she found out he had been speaking to another girl.

Despite deleting him from her social media accounts and blocking him, they remained in contact until they met up again around a month later.

“Afterwards they went back to his house and whilst there, they started to argue and she told him she was leaving. He then punched his TV which made her feel scared as she’d never seen him this angry before,” Ms Lavin said.

“He punched the TV a further two times, and with the blood on his hand, he flicked it at her and said: “Is this what you wanted.”

He apologised the next day and added: “you bring out the worst in me.”

A week later, on May 28, there was a party at Hughes’ house, where a number of friends, including his ex, attended and were drinking.

At around 5am, most of the friends had left and the woman decided to go to bed as she was tired.

“She put her phone on charge and was sleeping when she was woken up by the defendant stood to her right hand side,” Ms Lavin continued.

“He said: 'You have been messaging Peter, I’ve looked through your phone'."

Despite her protesting against this, he put his hand around her neck and called her a ‘liar’.

Hughes then grabbed her hair as she stood up and dragged her to the ground where he launched the brutal attack.

She told him: “I’m sorry, please stop”, and he eventually told her to get out, and she ran towards her house.

Hughes then pulled up alongside her and told her to get in the car, then drove to a Premier shop and bought two large bottles of water, keeping her locked in the car.

He then poured one bottle of water over her and told her he should be taking her to a ‘lockup’ instead of taking her home.

The next few days he repeatedly rang the woman and sent her emails apologising and said he ‘let the anger get the better of him’.

She was taken to hospital where she received treatment for a broken nose and an orbital fracture. She was also left with bald patches from where Hughes had ripped out clumps of her hair.

In a victim personal statement she said: “Your boyfriend is not supposed to hurt you, you don’t expect someone who is supposed to love you, would hurt you.

“My dad always protected me and I always expected other males would protect me too.

“People tried to warn me, but I never thought it would happen to normal people like me.”

She added that they always joked that he was three times the size of her, and so when he hit her it felt like three people had hit her.

Hughes was said to have four previous convictions including for offences of battery against another ex-girlfriend.

Mitigating, Michael Hayton QC said: “This was a very poor piece of domestic violence and a protracted piece of violence against his partner.

“There is hope he can continue to change and behave properly.”

Sentencing Hughes, the Recorder of Manchester, Judge Nicholas Dean QC said: “This was irrational jealousy of your former partner.

“You do present a risk to women in relationships.”

Hughes, of Langside Avenue, was jailed for 20 months and made subject of a restraining order indefinitely.

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