A “BULLY” made a woman fear for her life after he repeatedly punched and kicked her before putting his foot on the back of her neck.

John Harding, 25, from Newport, brutally assaulted her when she told him she didn’t want to be in a relationship with him.

Newport Crown Court heard the defendant had been offered a place to stay by her after his mother had kicked him out of her home.

Prosecutor Nigel Fryer said: “The victim had met Mr Harding on social media in February.

“She said he had showered her with gifts and she describes the initial relationship as good.”


The woman had offered the defendant a place to say for the night because she felt sorry for him.

But Harding exploded with rage the next day when she told him she didn’t want to be in a relationship with him and asked him to leave.

He punched her to the head and kicked her several times.

Mr Fryer said: “The defendant used his body to force her on the bed and then tightened bed clothes around her and started squeezing her throat.

“She was unable to breathe. He put his foot on the back of her neck. She was afraid that if he kicked her hard enough he would have broken her neck.

“He told her, ‘I’m going to kill you.’

“She said she was genuinely scared for her life.”

The woman was able to flee her home and found that her neighbours had already called the police.

Mr Fryer added: “The defendant called her and said he was seconds away from killing her.”

A few days after the assault, Harding went to the complainant’s home and told her to “take back her statement” to the police.

Mr Fryer said: “When I come out in five years, I’m going to kill you.

“His parting shot was, ‘I love you my queen.’”

In a victim impact statement, the woman said: “I feel he is a predator and I see him as a parasite.”

Harding, of Gaer Road, pleaded guilty to assault by beating and witness intimidation.

These offences put him in breach of a community order imposed last year for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, possessing a knife in public, theft, fraud, criminal damage and resisting arrest.

Ben Waters, representing the defendant, said: “He is quite properly ashamed of his behaviour.

“His best mitigation is his guilty pleas.”

Judge Geraint Walters told Harding: “You treated you victim appallingly. You punched her several times and you kicked her several times.

“You wrapped a sheet around her and grabbed her by the throat and squeezed her.

“She said she was afraid she was going to die. She was treated like a ragdoll by you.

“You then tried to bully her when she was recovering from the assault a few days before. You are a bully.”

Harding was jailed for 21 months.

After the case, Detective Constable Oliver Morgan said: “The violent actions of Harding have had a devastating long-term impact on the victim in this case and I’d like to acknowledge the courage and bravery they’ve shown throughout the police investigation and subsequent court case.

“I hope this prosecution sends a message to others, that we will pursue such offenders and take action against them.”