A “physical bully” who threatened to “choke his girlfriend to death” and “bite her face off”, kicked and screamed as he was taken from the dock to the cells after being jailed. 

Anthony McNulty, 20, appeared at Preston Crown Court where it was heard he had slapped his on-off girlfriend, strangled her three times, and made threats to her friend, before smashing up her house.

Prosecuting, Mercedeh Jabbari told the court how McNulty had been in a relationship with the victim for around a year, between December 2021 and December 2022.

She said: “His girlfriend said he was extremely unpredictable throughout the relationship and would get angry with her over little things.”

It was heard that in October 2022 there was an argument between the pair following a night at the cinema, where McNulty had ended up slapping his partner hard across the face.

Three months later, on January 29 at around 1pm, his victim was at home in Padiham with her friend when she got a message from McNulty asking where she was and who she was with.

Ms Jabbari said: “He did not like the friendship between the two women and he asked why she was with ‘that slag’ and that he was going to come round.

“He then arrived at the back door and was shouting at her to open it or he would take it off its hinges.

“She opened the door and he continued with a tirade of abuse, calling her friend a slag.

“She went upstairs and asked her friend to leave which she did.”

Ms Jabbari told the court that McNulty then demanded to look at her phone and saw messages between the two women, wrongly assumed they were having an affair, and began to strangle his partner.

She said: “He put his hands around her neck, pushed her onto the sofa and punched her to the jaw.”

McNulty continued to call her a cheat and then demanded the password to her iPad, from which he then sent abusive Snapchat messages to his partner’s friend calling her a “fat dog” and saying, “next time I see you I am going to smash your mouth…you get with birds you slag, stay away from my bird”.

McNulty, of Coal Clough Lane, Burnley, continued with his violent outburst and kicked his girlfriend to the body and pushed her onto the sofa, which fell back.

As it did, Ms Jabbari said he ended up straddled on top of her, and placed both his hands around her neck, this time squeezing for around 30 seconds until she felt like she was going to lose consciousness.

She went on: “He said he was going to choke her to death and would bite her face off.

“She was terrified. He punched her to the face again before she managed to get free.”

It was heard McNulty also strangled her a third time in the kitchen, with the whole ordeal lasting between two and three hours.

His victim eventually managed to get free and was helped on the street by a passer-by who called the police, but not before McNulty grabbed a piece of cement and smashed the downstairs window with it, and then squared up to the good Samaritan and threatened her.

Ms Jabbari continued: “There had been a systematic ransacking of the house by the defendant throughout, and the police, when they arrived, described it as a scene of destruction.

“He was arrested the following day after he was found hiding under the bed at a friend’s house and said the victim had attacked him and he had been acting in self-defence.”

McNulty pleaded guilty to assault by beating, malicious communications and intentional strangulation.

Mitigating, Keith Jones said his client had been dealing with the death of his mother in the summer, had no previous convictions, and had 'felt like he was being gaslit and cheated on' by his girlfriend, had irrational thoughts and was unable to manage his emotions.  

Judge Philip Parry said: “You have been described as a physical bully and were acting irrationally as you thought you were being cheated on, incorrectly, and weren’t equipped to deal with those emotions.”

Judge Parry sentenced McNulty to 15 months detention in a young offender’s institute and a 10 year restraining order against his former partner and her friend.

He was led out of the dock kicking and screaming and banging on the walls.