Cash-strapped builder Joshua Lockley held a bread knife to his partner and knocked her unconscious as he assaulted her on three separate occasions.
The 30-year-old was laid off from work due to the coronavirus lockdown and was not paid. He asked his partner to help him financially and demanded she drove him to a cashpoint. He later grabbed her in a headlock.
In a separate disturbance eight days later he grabbed a bread knife and held it to her throat and two days later he punched her and knocked her unconscious.
Now Lockley has been sentenced to 15 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, at North Staffordshire Justice Centre.
Prosecutor Stuart Quinn said the complainant attended the defendant’s Stafford home at 4pm on March 20 to collect her purse which she had left there.
Mr Quinn said: “He became verbally aggressive and demanded she took him to a cashpoint. She said she would not and left. He followed her to the car and kicked the front of the vehicle.
“The victim got out to check her car. He grabbed her by her hair and pulled her into the car and told her to drive him to the cashpoint. They arrived at the store. She was crying and upset. A member of the public was so concerned he asked if she was OK.
“She drove the defendant back to his home. He demanded she went in. She told him she wanted to leave. He told her she could not. He grabbed her in a headlock.
“She was gasping for breath. He released her and grabbed her purse. He threatened to throw her out the window.”
The victim went to the toilet and ran out of the house. Police were also called to a disturbance on March 30.
Mr Quinn said: “She was crying and hysterical. The defendant was on the stairwell and was also crying.
“She said the defendant had been at her property for two days and had not allowed her to leave.
“On March 28 he had grabbed her around the neck and placed his knee on her chest. He let her get up and grabbed her phone. He grabbed hold of a bread knife and put it to her face.
“On March 30 he grabbed her by the face and hit her. She lost consciousness. She managed to get up, go to the bathroom and call the police.”
Lockley, of Tithe Barn Road, Stafford, pleaded guilty to three offences of assault by beating.
Khalid Waheed, mitigating, said the offences stemmed from an acrimonious relationship. He said the defendant’s last conviction was in 2016.
Mr Waheed said: “Tempers were running high. He is a builder and was laid off due to coronavirus. They held back the monies he was due. He was quite upset.
“He helped his partner when she was in difficult times. He was asking her to reciprocate and said he would pay her back with interest. That is what led to the storm in a tea cup.”
He said the victim had no visible injuries. Mr Waheed added: “He is remorseful. He wishes to put all this behind him. He does not want anything to do with her.”
He also said the defendant has been in custody for the equivalent of a two week sentence.
Mr Waheed added: “He is very concerned. People are coughing and falling ill at Dovegate.”
District Judge Timothy Boswell made Lockley the subject of a five-year restraining order which prevents him having any contact with his victim.
District Judge Boswell said: “Although there were no physical injuries of note caused to your victim, there was the sheer distress and fear she would have experienced during these incidents.
“She was effectively forced to drive you in your car. A bread knife was held against her. She lost conciousness.
“If you were to breach this suspended sentence by committing further offences it is likely your feet would not touch the ground.”
Lockley was ordered to pay £500 compensation.