A police officer who attempted to murder his ex-partner at a hotel before fleeing the scene has been jailed for 16 years.

James Riley, 28, was a serving police officer with Lancashire Constabulary when the offence took place in November 2022.

He had previously denied attempting to murder the woman but accepted his guilt at a pre-trial hearing on November 7.

Riley, of Jepps Avenue in Preston, was sentenced to 16 years in prison at Manchester Crown Court today.

He was dismissed by Lancashire Police last year. 

Nicky Moore, a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: “James Riley violently attacked the victim in a jealous rage, causing lasting physical and psychological damage.

“Although he claimed he instantly regretted what he had done, instead of staying to face the consequences of his actions, he attempted to evade arrest by fleeing to another part of the country.

“Despite the victim being unable to recall what happened to her because of memory loss caused by her injuries, the CPS and Greater Manchester Police worked closely together to build a strong case including CCTV footage and expert medical and forensic evidence. The strength of the evidence meant Riley had no option but to accept his guilt.

“I can only hope the victim in this case will be able to move forward knowing Riley will be spending a significant amount of time behind bars for his actions.”

The relationship between Riley and the victim had been deteriorating for some time, which Riley admitted he was responsible for, but he still wanted to reconcile.

The pair had agreed they would attend a concert on November 10, 2022, booked when they were together, which they did, before returning to a Manchester Premier Inn hotel as previously arranged.

Shortly after returning to the hotel, Riley became violent, and within 15 minutes had telephoned his parents stating that he thought he had killed the victim.

The investigation that followed found he had strangled her to the point that she had lost consciousness.

Medical evidence presented to the court confirmed asphyxiation by way of suffocation or strangulation must have taken place for a period of more than two minutes.

After speaking to his parents for 11 minutes, Riley rang an ambulance while fleeing the hotel via a fire escape. He then got into his car and drove away erratically.

The car was later found abandoned with signs of a collision and Riley was arrested in West Yorkshire at 4.09am the following morning.

Paramedics assisted the victim who was found lying on the floor with clear signs of a brain injury.

She was taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary where she was placed into an induced coma and taken to intensive care.

The woman suffered a hypoxic brain injury which has caused memory loss, issues with concentration, difficulty processing information as well as fatigue and infrequent sleep paralysis.

Due to the injury, she was not able to recall the events in the hotel room.

Detective Sergeant Heidi Cullum from GMP’s Major Incident Team said; “Firstly, I would like to commend the bravery of the victim who has throughout this case shown immense strength to tell her story. What happened to her on that night, by someone she should have been able to trust is unthinkable. We hope now she can move on with the rest of her life safe in the knowledge that he cannot commit this act of violence to anyone else whilst behind bars.

"The support and access GMP detectives received from our counterparts in Lancashire and West Yorkshire was key to ensure we conducted a prompt and effective investigation.

"As police officers the public rightly expect the highest standards of behaviour and integrity. As a profession we are all hurt by Riley’s actions, which can never be justified, and we are pleased he will now face the consequences.

"Collectively we remain committed to tackle all forms of domestic abuse, as well as safeguarding victims. We hope the public take some confidence that Riley’s actions do not reflect policing in anyway shape or form, with the vast majority being committed individuals focused on serving their communities and keeping them safe on a daily basis.”