Beds, Herts & Bucks

Baggage handler jailed for throttling partner

An airport baggage handler from Cambridgeshire has been jailed for six-and-a-half years for attempted murder.

Steven McCall, 24, had a "sudden and total loss of self control" when he throttled a young mother at her home in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

She lost consciousness but recovered from the physical effects in about a month, Luton Crown Court heard.

McCall, from Wisbech, had pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and making threats to kill his former partner.

He was convicted of both charges by a majority of 10-2.

Thomas Allen, prosecuting, said the couple had been in a relationship but were living apart.

Lianne Kearns, 21, was at a housing association flat in Stevenage with their baby son and McCall was visiting regularly and having contact with his child.

'I was petrified'

As he was leaving after a visit on 26 August last year he accidentally hurt Miss Kearns' nose.

She told the court: "I told him to go away and leave me alone and the next thing I remember is that his hands were round my throat and I could not breath.

"He said 'I am going to hurt you like you hurt me. I am going to kill you'.

"I was petrified and then I must have passed out."

Mr Allen said: "Her survival may be because the compression ceased shortly after she became unconscious."

McCall gave her mouth to mouth resuscitation and she started breathing.

He admitted getting a bread knife so she could "put him out of his misery".

David Stanton, defending, said: "He was always aware he would go to prison whatever the jury's verdict but he could not accept he had any intention to really hurt her."

Judge Bevan said: "This is a sad case. This was a sudden and total loss of control. You could have killed her. You lost it."

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