A VIOLENT boyfriend has been jailed for trying to strangle his partner just minutes after she told him she was pregnant.

Evan Greenaway attacked his girlfriend repeatedly during a “toxic” 18-month relationship and had partially strangled her twice before the final attack in June this year.

He went on to ignore bail conditions and a court order by harassing her with calls and internet messages until he was arrested and locked up.

The most serious attack happened after the victim told him she was pregnant. He seemed pleased at the news but became angry and jealous when she received a text message from another friend.

He demanded her mobile telphone, tried to grab it, and then put his hands around her neck for about 40 seconds while pinning her to the floor with his knee on her stomach. He only let go when she was struggling to breathe.

Greenaway, aged 19, of Sycamore Road, Tiverton, admitted three counts of strangulation, three of battery, coercive and controlling behaviour, criminal damage and harassment and was jailed for a year and 10 months by Miss Recorder Emma Zeb at Exeter Crown Court.

He was also made subject to a five-year restraining order banning any further contact after his release.

The Judge told him: “The victim felt that while she was being strangled, she was going to die. It has impacted her mental health and she has lost trust in men. In the pre-sentence report, you say you cannot recall the strangulation because of your level of intoxication.

“You told the report writer that you struggle to control yourself. You show some signs of remorse but I am concerned at your continued victim blaming. You also seem to place yourself as a victim of domestic violence.

“You appear to be a young man with risks associated with alcohol who has acted in a dangerous way and not been able to recall it. Your conduct was intended to cause fear, distress to the complainant and control over her.”

Mr Michael Green, prosecuting, said Greenaway’s controlling behaviour pre-dated the first strangling in April and included checking her phone and social media, telling her who she could meet and what she should wear.

He strangled on three separate occasions and assaulted her by kneeing her in the face, kneeling on her stomach and grabbing her arm.

The final and most serious strangulation happened just after she told him she was pregnant on June 18 this year. His initial response was positive but he then flew into a drunken jealous rage when he thought another man was texting her.

Miss Zoe Kuyken, defending, said Greenaway had not been intending to harm the unborn child in the attack and desisted as soon as his partner warned him of the danger.

He disputes the extent of his controlling behaviour and said it extended solely to checking her phone and social media. All three of the strangulations were short lived and none resulted in serious injury.

The said the relationship was toxic but Greenaway now accepts he needs help to change his behaviour in the future, and this would be better achieved in the community than in jail.