A MAN who strangled his girlfriend to the point where she thought she was going to die has been spared jail.

Preston Crown Court how Anthony William Stinson, 26, had on two separate occasions, throttled his parter, Leanne Sharp, following altercations which occurred after they had been drinking.

The offences took place within seven days of each other, with the second leading Miss Sharp to fear for her life.

The court heard that during the first incident on January 27, the pair had been out at a party before an argument ensued, causing the victim to leave.

Prosecuting, Hanifa Patel said: “The couple met back up in Clitheroe town centre before another argument broke out.

“The defendant had run towards Miss Sharp and grabbed her by the throat.”

At the time of that assault, Stinson also headbutted a window belonging to The Grand on York Street, causing £265 of damage.

The couple remained together despite Miss Sharp telling him she wanted to end the relationship, but on February 3, Stinson once again tried to strangle his partner after they had been out at another party.

Miss Patel said: “Both of them left the party quite drunk, went home together, before Mr Stinson’s attitude changed and he became aggressive towards her.”

Stinson pushed Miss Sharp to the floor and grabbed her tightly by the throat.

Miss Patel added: “She said she felt strange and everything became weak and she thought she was going to die.”

Stinson, who has eight convictions for 17 offences, including rape, assault and criminal damage, was arrested the following day, telling police that although he couldn’t remember the incident, he was positive Miss Sharp wouldn’t be lying.

Stinson, of Grafton street, Clitheroe, pleaded guilty to assault, assault causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage.

Duncan Nightingale, defending, said Stinson was quick to admit his guilt and said his client had a problem with alcohol, which he has sought help to overcome.

He added: “He was very emotional and apologetic for what he had done.”

Stinson was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years. He was ordered to attend a six-month alcohol treatment programme, complete 15 of rehabilitation activity requirement days, attend the building better relationships programme and pay £265 compensation to The Grand.