Man jailed for strangling neighbour after kicking door down to break into her Scarborough flat
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Scott Kerr, 36, flew into a booze-fuelled rage at the block of flats in Westbourne Grove, Scarborough, after the named victim refused to let him in, York Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Tony Dunne said that Kerr had been drinking heavily before breaking the door down, bursting into the flat and grabbing the woman by the throat. He then pressed his thumbs into the centre of her throat to the point where she couldn’t breathe.
“During the course of the attack she fell back and banged her head, unable to breathe,” said Mr Dunne.
“She feared she was going to die.”
During the attack Kerr also broke her necklace.
Her neighbour, a man who was named in court, came running to her aid and pulled Kerr off her. Police were called out and arrested Kerr.
During questioning in custody, officers asked him about his “health and welfare”.
He replied: “Health and welfare? I’ll kill her.”
He was charged with intentional strangulation, using violence to force entry to premises and damaging property.
Kerr, of Barrowcliff Road, Scarborough, initially denied the incident and a trial had been scheduled for earlier this year, but he admitted the offences after his barrister asked the judge for a Goodyear indication, or an indication as to length of sentence if his client pleaded guilty.
When the judge said the sentence would be lesser if Kerr pleaded guilty, he owned up. He was remanded in custody and appeared for sentence via video link today (Friday).
Mr Dunne said that Kerr lived in a flat below the victim at the time of the attack, which occurred on March 23.
The victim said there had been “numerous issues” with Kerr in the past.
On the night in question, she had gone out for drinks with a group of people including Kerr, who drank about 10 cans of lager.
She returned to her flat with a friend but didn’t want Kerr in her home because he was drunk, so she locked the door.
Kerr came back upstairs and, on finding her door locked, simply kicked it in and went inside.
The victim told Kerr, who was holding a crate of lager, that she didn’t want him there, at which point he ran towards her and strangled her.
Mr Dunne said Kerr had “numerous” previous convictions for being drunk and disorderly. His rap sheet also included battery and criminal damage.
Defence barrister Nick Peacock was spared the need for mitigation after judge Sean Morris said he would stick to the promise he made at the Goodyear hearing and give Kerr a reduced sentence.
Kerr was jailed for 17 months and given a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting the victim and the friend who went to her aid, and prohibiting him from going within 300 yards of their home.