A man who wrapped a cord round his girlfriend’s neck and strangled her three times so hard that she lost consciousness on each occasion is facing ‘a substantial period of custody.’
Aaron Medcraft had denied attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm on the victim with intent to cause her serious injury – claiming her injuries had been self-inflicted.
But after more than five hours a jury at Warwick Crown Court found him guilty by a unanimous verdict.
Medcraft (21) who is from Rugby but of no fixed address, had pleaded guilty to a further assault on the victim, and was also convicted of damaging a bathroom door at her mother’s home.
Adjourning the case for a report to be prepared on Medcraft and remanding him in custody, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC warned him: “It will have to be a substantial period of custody.”
Prosecutor Justin Jarmola had told the jury: “This case is about a long episode of violence by Aaron Medcraft against his on-off partner.”
He explained that in January the victim had been trying to shut Medcraft out of her life and trying not to see him so her children, who had been taken into care, could return to her.
“Unfortunately she didn’t always manage to adhere to that. She willingly kept in touch with Aaron Medcraft with a secret mobile phone.
“You may wonder why she would do that, but only [the victim] can properly answer that,” commented Mr Jarmola.
The victim was staying at her mother’s home in Rugby at the time, and on January 12 her mother, who ‘would never have allowed him to attend,’ was away overnight.
The victim arranged for Medcraft to visit, and that evening they visited various friends before returning to the house.
Over the next two hours Medcraft ‘used extensive violence upon [the victim],’ which Mr Jarmola said ‘took the form of various assaults on her.’
“She attempted to flee and to lock herself in the bathroom, but unfortunately this did not prove successful because he managed to break open the door.
“Aaron Medcraft decided to use a cord from an item of his clothing which he had deliberately removed to wrap it round her neck and strangle her with it.
“He did that on three separate occasions, and on each occasion he strangled her so hard that it caused her to lose consciousness.
“The question you are going to have is ‘what did he intend to do by strangling [the victim] on those three occasions?’
“Fortunately [the victim] didn’t suffer really serious harm due to being strangled, but the prosecution say that doesn’t matter, because it is glaringly obvious that the intention Aaron Medcraft had was to cause really serious harm.
“What else could he have intended by carrying out those three separate strangulations?”
The victim finally managed to get away from him and ran out of the house, but Medcraft pursued her and continued to assault her in the street by hitting and kicking her, added Mr Jarmola.
The jury heard that when the police arrived Medcraft was arrested in the house, and on the floor the officers found a length of cord which was put in his rucksack before it emerged that it had been used during the incident.
But Medcraft denied attacking the victim in the house, and asserted that the marks to her neck had been self-inflicted.
As the victim gave evidence, Medcraft's barrister Graeme Simpson suggested the victim had smashed a glass vase, and put to her: “Did you cause the marks on your neck yourself with a piece of glass?”
But the victim, who denied breaking the vase, replied: “No.”
Mr Simpson suggested: “You were not assaulted by Aaron, were you.” But she insisted: “Yes I was.”
After the jury returned their guilty verdicts, the court heard that Medcraft had convictions for 20 offences, including a number of assaults.
Observing that he was facing ‘a significant custodial sentence,’ Judge Lockhart pointed out that the ‘starting point’ if grievous bodily harm had actually been caused, rather than it being an attempt, would have been 12 years.
The Advertiser has chosen not to identify the victim.
If you are the victim of domestic abuse you can call the National Domestic Violence Helpline for free at any time on 0808 2000 247 or visit www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk
Men experiencing domestic abuse can call 0808 801 0327 between Monday to Friday (9am-5pm), or visit www.mensadviceline.org.uk
If you are in immediate danger you should call 999.