'Violent bully' attacked his girlfriend and spat in her face for not changing her Facebook relationship status

A 'violent bully' who twice attacked his partner and then shouted his way through his own court sentencing has been locked up.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 11:45 am

Thomas Riley appeared in court via video link from HMP Leeds, but as he tried to argue his case, the judge ordered that he be muted.

Despite pleading guilty to two counts of causing actual bodily harm to his partner, the 32-year-old attempted to say he had been acting in self defence before his microphone was switched off, but could be seen remonstrating throughout the hearing.

Leeds Crown Court heard Riley and the woman had been in a relationship for about six months.

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Thomas Riley was jailed for 28 months at Leeds Crown Court for assaulting his girlfriend.

Stephen Littlewood, prosecuting, said the victim had gone to his home on Lincoln Street, Wakefield, in the early hours of June 6 and an argument quickly escalated.

He grabbed her by the hair and attacked her, leaving her with bruising to her face and a cut to her lip.

The pair reconciled over the next few days and went out for a meal on June 8, but when they returned home, his behaviour changed.

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He became angry when he asked her why she had not changed her Facebook relationship status.

Mr Littlewood said Riley then spat in her face, pulled her hair and slapped her before pulling her to the ground.

He put his hand over her mouth when she screamed before putting a quilt over her head.

Riley only stopped as the police entered the property. The neighbours had called 999 because of the noise.

He was arrested at the scene and denied both assaults.

The court was told he had 46 convictions for 88 offences, including 13 for violence, some of which were against previous partners.

Michael Greenhalgh, mitigating said: "It was an unhappy relationship in many ways and he had difficulties with substances during the course of it.

"He accepts he behaved erratically and recognises the relationship is over."

At this point, Judge Simon Batiste interrupted Mr Greenhalgh as Riley continued to argue his case on mute, and said: "He has clearly been disputing. It appears he has a habit of minimising his wrongdoing."

Riley was jailed for two years and four months and was made the subject of 10-year restraining order to stay away from the victim.

Judge Batiste told Riley: "You have a truly terrible record for violence.

"It's clear that a number of these offences relate to domestic violence with previous partners.

"You are a violent bully who believes you can treat and control women in any way you feel fit."