Mum strangled in front of her children by abusive ex boyfriend – Liverpool Echo

An abusive ex-boyfriend strangled, slapped and punched a mum in front of her two young children.

David Brooks previously attacked his victim when she was pregnant with his child and holding a six-month-old baby.

She said Brooks tried to kick her in the stomach, but she raised a leg to protect herself and was hit in the right calf.

READ MORE: Woman beater tells victim ‘see you around b****’ as he’s jailed

After she moved home to try to escape his abuse, he found out her new address and beat her up a second time.

Brooks, 24, of Alexandra Park, Aigburth, was jailed for 12 months and hit with a five-year restraining order in July last year.

But this summer he again tracked down the victim – who the ECHO has chosen not to name – and launched a third attack.

Police received an anonymous call about a woman “screaming” at a house in Old Swan, at around 3:45pm, on June 29.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the victim wasn’t in when officers arrived, but a neighbour revealed she was hiding at their house.

Paul Blasbery, prosecuting, said Brooks had hit a double glazed panel on the woman’s front door with a skateboard, smashing the first panel of glass.

The victim answered the door and Brooks asked if he could come in, but when she refused, he entered and immediately attacked her.

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Mr Blasbery said Brooks started slapping her in the face, which left a red mark; grabbed her by the throat and held her against a wall; then punched her in the back, causing bruising and scratching.

The prosecutor said: “He then threatened to get some mates down and set her house on fire.”

Mr Blasbery said “thankfully” the 20-year-old woman pushed him outside and locked the door.

On July 13, the mum received an email from Instagram notifying her of unread messages.

Mr Blasbery said she saw numerous messages from Brooks, who was “apologising and telling her that he loved her”.

The victim took screenshots before Brooks tried to video call her on Instagram, but she blocked him.

When arrested and interviewed by police, Brooks admitted sending the messages and trying to call his ex on Instagram.

He claimed he was only apologising for not having spoken to her since he was last arrested in May 2020, and denied going to her new home.

Brooks later admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, criminal damage and two counts of breaching a restraining order.

In October 2019 he was convicted of common assault, criminal damage and possessing cannabis after attacking the woman at her then home in Wavertree. Magistrates handed him a community order and a three-year restraining order.

Last July he admitted assault by beating, theft, three counts of breaching his restraining order, two counts of assaulting an emergency worker, and possessing cannabis, when he was jailed and the restraining order was renewed.

That related to his repeated attempts to see the woman, his newborn son and her daughter from a past relationship and incidents including an attack when he pinned her down with his hands around her throat.

In a victim statement, the mum explained how Brooks’ abuse had “set her life on the wrong course for the last three years”.

She described how Brooks “destroyed her self-esteem and confidence”, she hid bruises from her mum, he was controlling and manipulative, which made her feel “trapped”, and he was “volatile” and would suddenly “turn” on her.

David Brooks, 23, of Alexandra Park, Aigburth
David Brooks, 23, of Alexandra Park, Aigburth
(Image: Liverpool Echo)

However, the woman said she refused to live her life as a victim.

She said: “I give you my words here today, I give you my pain, I give you my flashbacks, my panic attacks. They are yours now.

“I am leaving my darkness with you and I’m stronger than you will ever know.”

David Woods, defending, said Brooks accepted he was facing prison.

He said his client didn’t have “a nice childhood” and “can’t really talk about it without becoming upset”.

Mr Woods said: “At the age of 15 he went into supportive lodging in Liverpool, with a view to effectively starting his life again.”


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He said Brooks couldn’t cope with the relationship because of his “insecurity” and “didn’t really know why” he went to the victim’s house, after thinking he had put the relationship behind him when he was released from jail.

Mr Woods said Brooks had revealed his violent past to his new girlfriend and knew he needed help to deal with his insecurity.

Judge David Swinnerton said he had seen photos of the victim’s injuries.

He said: “Particularly concerning are the cuts and marks around her neck because in her own home, in the presence of two small children, you grabbed her by the throat.”

Pictured is Liverpool Crown Court

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The judge said aggravating features of the case included Brooks’ previous convictions against the same victim, “completely ignoring court orders to try to protect her” and the fact her children were present.

He said: “You talk about your difficult childhood. Those two small children are having their childhood made difficult by you behaving in that way in front of them.”

The judge said he made the mum feel “scared, vulnerable and helpless in her own home” and there was “an element of strangulation” during the attack, although not for an extended time.

Jailing him for two years and eight months, he said: “I want you to understand this Mr Brooks – this relationship is over. This young lady has suffered enough at your hands.

“This happens again, you’re simply going to go to prison for very, very long periods of time.”

Brooks replied: “I know. I promise you, I will never harm her, I just want her to be happy now, I totally apologise. When I do get out, I will go through the courts to see my little boy.”

Judge Swinnerton made a 10-year restraining order and warned: “You must go nowhere near her on your release from prison.”

If you have been affected by any issues mentioned in this article, you can contact the Domestic Violence Helpline for free on 0808 2000 247 or any of the following organisations:

Women’s Aid

Refuge

White Ribbon

ALICAS

People can also call Merseyside Police on 101 or, if they are in immediate danger, call 999.

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