Screaming children barricaded themselves in bedroom as thug strangled their mum

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Darren Wilson has been jailed for 15 months (Image: Lancs Police)
Darren Wilson has been jailed for 15 months (Image: Lancs Police)

Terrified children barricaded themselves into a bedroom after their mum's violent ex-boyfriend burst in and strangled her.

Darren Wilson had turned up at the family home to speak about money, but the conversation quickly turned abusive and he accused his former partner of cheating, a court heard.

The 43-year-old said he wanted to charge his phone and get clothes he'd left at the address in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire.

However, the woman - who had a broken foot and ankle - locked herself inside and threw his clothes from an upstairs window.

"That should have been the end of it", Judge Ian Unsworth KC, sentencing, told Preston Crown Court on Tuesday.

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However, later that evening, the woman heard knocking and stones being thrown at the window.

She looked outside to find Wilson swearing and demanding money.

Screaming children barricaded themselves in bedroom as thug strangled their mumWilson was sentenced at Preston Crown Court (LancsLive/MEN)

The mum called the police but before officers arrived Wilson had kicked the front door open and ran upstairs, confronting the woman on the landing.

He pinned her against a wall by her throat as her kids screamed.

"She must have been terrified in this moment, for herself and for her children", Judge Unsworth said.

The family managed to hide in a bedroom until police arrived, reports LancsLive.

As they waited, Wilson pretended to call the police himself and claim the woman had assaulted him and would be arrested.

He was arrested and claimed he had gone to the address to speak to the woman about funds she owed and about her "being cruel to him", the court heard.

Screaming children barricaded themselves in bedroom as thug strangled their mumThe woman said the incident had left her mentally drained (stock image) (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Wilson initially insisted he had been allowed into the property but later pleaded guilty during the first day of his trial at Blackpool Magistrates Court.

He was convicted of assault, strangulation, and using violence to enter the property.

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He was jailed for 15 months.

At the time of the attacks, Wilson was under investigation for offences of dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking, in the woman's car, a month earlier.

The magistrates said the offences were so serious they must be sentenced by a crown court judge.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said the incident had left her mentally drained and had been the toughest time of her life.

Sentencing, Judge Unsworth KC said: "It must have been a terrifying matter for everyone involved. You grabbed her by the throat and pinned her to the wall in the hallway.

"The use of such force, in such an area, is an extremely serious matter.

"Parliament, in recent times, has sought to ensure that it is an offence in itself.

"It is well known that such an action is a mark of someone who is taking a serious act against a victim but it is also a marker for those who perpetrate domestic violence.

"It shows an element of control over your victim. She showed immense courage.

"She tried to hit you to get you off her and she could hear her children screaming. She must have been terrified in this moment, for herself and for her children."

The judge sentenced Wilson, of HMP Preston, to 15 months for intentional strangulation, with three months to run concurrently for assault by beating and three months to run concurrently for using violence to enter a premise.

Wilson was also jailed for 15 months consecutively for the driving offences he committed in May 2022.

Rachel Smith

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