‘Vulnerable’ ex-girlfriend attacked in woods by ‘violent’ partner
A man lured his “vulnerable” former girlfriend into the woods under false pretences before launching a violent and cruel attack.
Paul-Cole Ferguson, 20, pleaded guilty to two counts of actual bodily harm, one count of criminal damage and one count of the possession of a knife or bladed article.
On August 14 last year, Ferguson put his hands around his ex-girlfriend’s neck, making her hit her head against the wall, sustain a black eye and bruises to her head.
In another incident on August 18, Ferguson was drinking in Broughton when the defendant arrived in a car with three other men.
Ferguson, who was carrying a knife with him and threatened that “someone would get hurt if anyone tries anything”, got out of the car and asked his ex-girlfriend to retrieve his AirPods and a jumper which belonged to his late mother.
When she returned with the items Ferguson asked her to get inside the car and go to the woods with him to “talk”.
The court heard: “She told him she didn’t want to be alone with him. The defendant told his friends he just wanted to speak with her. She was dropped off in the woods with the defendant and the men stayed in the car.
“While in the car with Ferguson, her friend had called her on Facebook Messenger and could hear that he was angry that she was on the phone. The friend on the phone heard the victim crying and getting out of the car.
“He heard the defendant say: ‘You were lying, you were on the phone’.”
Ferguson, from Scunthorpe, took the girl’s phone where he discovered “romantic messages” before throwing it away. Inside the woods, he shouted “horrible and vile” things at her before slapping her “several times” while on the ground.
“The complainant was on the floor screaming. [Ferguson] said, ‘If you don’t shut the f***k up I will hit you again’.”
Mitigating, Noel Philo said: “A man who was in the car with the defendant said he handed the knife to him and said: ‘I don’t want to do anything with this’.
“He had a violent father who he saw beating his mother and at age 15, Mr Ferguson was with his mother when she died and then had to try and protect his younger brother from his dad’s violence. He has a temper that can flare up and be violent.
“The jumper was his mother’s. It has enormous significance for him. It is one of the last things he has left of his mother.
“There was a knife he was carrying, but he put it back in the car. It was not a prolonged attack. It was wrong, but it did very little damage.”
Sentencing Ferguson, Judge Michael Fanning KC told him: “I recognise that you both had your own difficulties but that does not justify violence. You knew her difficulties, she was vulnerable, and that should have caused you to recognise the care that she needed.”
Ferguson was sentenced to one year and six months in a young offenders’ institute.
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