A FIVE-year-old boy who walked into a room to see his mum being throttled by her boyfriend pleaded with her attacker, “Don’t kill my mummy.”
Blackburn magistrates heard that ex-soldier Craig Anthony Briercliffe threw something at the boy, enabling Lindsey McIntosh to catch her breath and tell her son to go back to bed, a court heard.
But when police arrived, the terrified child was hiding under a blanket and told the officers; “I didn’t want him to kill my mummy.”
Jailing Briercliffe for 18 weeks, the chairman of the magistrates said the defendent had a history of violent offending.
“This was an unpleasant and violent incident and for a five-year-old boy to see his mum being treated so violently must have been sickening,” he said.
“For that young boy to stand there and plead with you not to kill his mum is dreadful. If those four words “Don’t kill my mum” don’t stick in your mind and change your attitude towards people, then nothing is going to make you change.”
Briercliffe, 29, of Ward Street, Great Harwood, pleaded guilty to assaulting Miss Walsh. He was made subject to a restraining order for three years with conditions that he does not contact Miss Walsh or enter St Hubert’s Road in the town.
Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said Briercliffe had a history of violent offending, including domestic violence against previous partners in 2010 and 2011 and a pub glassing in 2012.
Miss Walsh had started a relationship with him in October but they didn’t live together.
Briercliffe had been drinking all day when he came round to her house and started talking about a friend he had served with in Afghanistan who had been killed in action.
“He was reflecting on that when he became aggressive and abusive towards her,” said Miss Allan. “He suddenly grabbed her by the throat and started squeezing hard. Miss Walsh couldn’t breathe and felt she was losing consciousness.”
Briercliffe picked up a pair of broken spectacles and pressed them into her neck saying he could stab her.
Miss Allan said Miss Walsh, who was absolutely terrified, was able to call the police after her son had entered the room.
“She says the defendant needs some help before he kills someone,” said Miss Allan.
Jonathan Taylor, defending, said Briercliffe had served with the Scots Guards and had done a six months tour of Afghanistan where a close friend had been killed.
Mr Taylor said: “He had a traumatic time in Afghanistan, and while he’s not trying to hide behind that, he’s seen things only people who have been there can understand.”