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Pregnant woman feared for life in attack - court.

A CONTROLLING, jealous boyfriend has been jailed for a terrifying, degrading and excruciating attack on his pregnant ex-partner.

Andrew James Leonard told her "I'm going to kill you", held a chopping knife to her head and cut her during an hour-long ordeal.

His then partner Natalie Stephenson was driven to tell him "If you're going to do it, do it quickly" as he slowly dug the blade into her head.

On this, the 31-year-old bully threw the weapon away, saying: "You really need to go. I really want to kill you."

Teesside Crown Court heard how she was 16 weeks pregnant when Leonard began his long assault on her at 3am.

Leonard made an accusation against her, slapped her across the face, climbed on top of her, pinned her to the couch and shouted at her on July 15.

She went to the bathroom but he followed, pushed and punched her, said prosecutor Oliver Thorne yesterday.

He grabbed her and pulled her towards him in a way which she said was so intensely painful it was "worse than childbirth".

When she was finally able to leave their flat on Yarm Road, Stockton, she called an ambulance from a nearby shop. Her body and eyes were bruised and her head was cut.

Leonard, of Vulcan Way, Thornaby, only pleaded guilty on the day of trial when Ms Stephenson came to court to give evidence against him.

He admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and making a threat to kill. His history of violence included wounding with a potato knife.

In September this year he was jailed for 16 weeks for a 12-hour stand-off with armed police after he turned up at a Yarm Road flat with a Samurai sword under his T-shirt.

Andrew Turton, defending, said Leonard regretted his latest violent crime and understood his actions' impact. The former heroin addict was now tackling alcohol issues and other difficulties to lead a law-abiding life. The relationship is now over.

Judge Howard Crowson said: "It was controlling, angry, jealous behaviour, terrifying your victim. She clearly feared for her life."

He said Leonard caused significant psychological harm - rejecting the defence's attempts to claim otherwise. He jailed Leonard for 21 months.
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Dec 14, 2011
Words:367
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