A man assaulted his partner by repeatedly strangling her, and putting a pillow over her face, at a time he was subject to a restraining order not to approach her.

The victim feared she would die in the attack.

Defendant Michael Birchall-Swindells admitted assault and six breaches of the restraining order.

Mold Crown Court heard that the couple had been living together in Colwyn Bay despite the order.

Judge Niclas Parry jailed him for nine months.

He said he made it quite clear that he was being sentenced on the basis that the complainant agreed to him breaching the restraining order and staying with her.

The defendant was motivated to breach the order because he wanted to see his child, the judge said.

He had deliberately taken a risk.

But the judge said that the order was in place to protect the victim from herself as much as anything.

She had given in because she was vulnerable, lonely and depressed, he said.

The defendant may well have got away with it, but he carried out a terrifying assault upon her.

She believed that her life was in danger.

The assault took place in breach of the restraining order and a suspended sentence imposed for earlier assaults on the same complainant.

Judge Parry said that he accepted that it would be difficult for various reasons for the defendant to serve his first custodial sentence.

Prosecuting barrister Anna Price said that the defendant pinned the complainant to the bed, repeatedly strangled her and held a pillow over her face.

She had difficulty breathing and thought that she was going to die.

A new restraining order was made under which he is to have no contact directly or indirectly and he must not enter any address where she lives.

The judge ruled that child contact arrangements should be made through a solicitor or social services.

Birchall-Swindells, formerly of Lawton Road in Colwyn Bay but now living in Warrington Road, Stalybridge, Manchester, was said by his barrister Sion ap Mihangel, to have left the area and accepted that the relationship was over, although he needed to have contact with his daughter.

“He has grown up. He knows he cannot continue to behave in this way,” he said.