Jail for man who at­tacked girl­friends

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views - LIZ DAY liz.daye@waleson­line.co.uk

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

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