A SERIAL domestic abuser who strangled and punched his girlfriend in the face before promising to “treat her like a princess” has been jailed.

Martin Harris, 30, from Newport, had throttled his then partner in a hotel room last Christmas, prosecutor Meirion Davies said.

The city’s crown court heard how he made “empty promises” he was sorry before “battering” her again this summer after rekindling their relationship.

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Mr Davies told how the couple had gone away for the weekend and stayed at the Village Hotel in Bristol in December 2019.


“After spending the evening drinking, they returned to the hotel bar,” he said.

“As a result of his behaviour, the defendant was asked by the bar manager to leave.

“He then backhanded her across the face and punched to the face.

“The defendant grabbed her around the throat and the complainant described him strangling her.

“She said she tried to scream but couldn’t. He was arrested by Avon and Somerset Police officers.

“The victim had swelling around the eye and blood around her mouth.”

Mr Davies said the defendant contacted his former girlfriend in the summer, in breach of a restraining order, and she agreed to meet him.

Gwent Police were called to a house in Newport in the early hours of June 13 after Harris attacked her again.

Mr Davies said: “He had knocked one of her teeth out and the complainant told officers, ‘He’s battered me. He’s punched me all over.”

Harris, of Stelvio Park Drive, admitted two counts of causing actual bodily harm and breaching a restraining order.

The court was told he was jailed for 22 months in 2017 for wounding.

Gareth Williams, mitigating, said: “These assaults were not very nice at all.”

He asked the court to take into account his client’s guilty pleas.

Mr Williams added: “The defendant has serious mental health problems.

“He understands his relationship with the victim is over.

“The way he has behaved towards the woman is reprehensible.”

Judge Daniel Williams told Harris: “You went for a weekend in Bristol and the two of you were drinking.

“You went back to your hotel and you became boorish and aggressive towards her.

“You punched her in the face causing her excruciating pain and you strangled her.”

Judge Williams added: “You contacted the complainant in June and you claimed to be sorry.

“You made empty promises and she said that you said you had wanted to treat her like a princess.”

He told him that in the second attack: “You held her hair with one hand before you rained in the punches.”

Judge Williams jailed Harris for three years and made him the subject of a five-year restraining order not to contact his victim.