Jail for man who attacked girlfriends
A WEIGHTLIFTER who took steroids repeatedly used “callous” violence towards two girlfriends – pulling their hair, spitting at them and strangling them until they lost consciousness.
Garth Rees made one of the women believe he was going to kill her by holding her head towards a lit hob after telling her she was weak, and slapping her.
Sentencing him at Cardiff Crown Court, Judge Jeremy Jenkins said: “Your behaviour demonstrates you are a man of ungovernable temper – a bully who picks on people physically weaker than yourself.”
The court heard he met Bethan Thomas-Rowlands on Tinder in July last year.
Janine Davies, prosecuting, said she initially found him “caring and friendly” but he became aggressive following an argument later that year.
Prosecutors said Rees turned “threatening and violent” after they moved in together in December, telling Ms Thomas-Rowlands: “Look at the size of you. If I wanted to kill you or hurt you I would.”
The court heard he made derogatory comments and called her a “slut”.
Three months later she described him pulling her off a bed by her ankles, pulling her hair, spitting at her, and strangling her.
Prosecutors said on another occasion he pulled her off a sofa then threw her against a wall and punched her in the chest, fracturing two of her ribs.
When she asked why he said: “It’s the only way to make you shut the f*** up.” The court heard they separated in April as a result of his behaviour. She went to speak to him a month later and he punched her after she received a message from a man.
Prosecutors said he turned up at her home in July and banged on her door, accusing her of sending messages to his new girlfriend Lily Mainwaring.
Ms Davies said he lifted her up by her dressing gown then pinned her against the wall by her throat and “rammed” the dressing gown into her mouth and said: “Try screaming now.”
The court heard he grabbed her phone and held it under running water. She tried to calm him down but he held his forearm across her neck and spat at her.
Ms Thomas-Rowlands managed to attract the attention of a passer-by and used their phone to call the police.
Prosecutors said Rees started going out with Lily Mainwaring in March after they met at a gym in Bridgend.
He was still living with Ms Thomas-Rowlands at the time, but said the relationship had ended. He moved in with his new girlfriend in April.
The court heard he was taking part in weightlifting competitions at the time and taking steroids as well as using cocaine regularly.
Prosecutors said the defendant started to get angry and insulted his new partner’s appearance after they moved in together.
Ms Davies said he discovered in May his ex was in a new relationship and took it out on Ms Mainwaring.
The court heard he told her to leave and she started to pack, but he put both hands around her throat and pinned her into a corner, squeezing her neck and lifting her up.
A few days later she woke up to Rees pulling the mattress from underneath her, leaving her lying on wooden slats.
Ms Davies said: “He started kicking out – he kicked her off the bed.” He told her: “F*** off and sleep on the sofa.”
The court heard about a week later he grabbed her by the hair and forced her face into the mattress before throwing her across the living room, causing her to hit her head on a table.
Prosecutors said she pretended to be unconscious because she was frightened, but when she opened her eyes he kicked her in the ribs.
He then came running towards her with a knife in his hand and slapped her before throwing her against a wall.
The court heard on May 16 she put a plate of hot food in front of him and he poured it over her, calling her a “f***ing liar” after wrongly believing she had put an email from his ex into his spam folder.
Prosecutors said she went to clean herself up and he threw her out halfdressed. She returned to collect her belongings and Rees told her she was “weak” and made derogatory remarks about her appearance.
The court heard he slapped her, pushed her against a washing machine, pulled her legs from under her and stamped on her stomach before using a key to cut her face. He held her head by a hob and turned it on. Ms Davies said: “She believed he was going to kill her.”
The court heard he had a previous conviction in 2015 for causing criminal damage to his father’s car.
Rees, 22, from Hafan-yBryn in Bridgend, admitted two counts of controlling or coercive behaviour.
Stephen Robson, defending, accepted there was “jealousy”, and said his client was diagnosed with depression.
He accepted Rees was abusing steroids.
Judge Jenkins described the offending as “callous and repeated violence” over a prolonged period.
Rees held his head in his hands as he was jailed for 16 months. The judge imposed a five-year restraining order.
If you or someone you know is a victim of violence against women, domestic abuse or sexual violence, call the Live Fear Free helpline on 0808 8010 800
Garth Rees, 22, of Hafan-y-Bryn in Bridgend, was jailed for 16 months at Cardiff Crown Court after he admitted two counts of controlling or coercive behaviour