Knaresborough man jailed for strangling former partner
Jul 31, 2023
Craig Moorey, who was jailed at York Crown Court.
Craig Moorey, who was jailed at York Crown Court.

A man who strangled and terrorised his former partner has been jailed for nearly two years.

Craig Moorey, 31, from Knaresborough, strangled the victim to the point where she was struggling to breathe, York Crown Court heard.

He handed himself in following the drunken attack – albeit only because he knew the named victim had called police – but after being quizzed about the assault he went back to her home and started banging on her windows, threatening to smash them in.

Prosecutor Andrew Finlay said the assault occurred during an argument at the victim’s home in Harrogate on October 16 last year.

The victim said he only stopped when she pushed him away. Moorey claimed he pushed her away and said he “briefly” strangled her after she threatened to stab him.

The prosecution accepted that the victim had threatened to stab him but did so while being subjected to vile verbal abuse from Moorey. It was also set against a background of violence and domestic abuse she had suffered at his hands.

Mr Finlay said that in the moments before the attack, the victim had asked Moorey to leave after returning home to find empty beer cans strewn around the room. 

Moorey refused and aimed abuse at her. The argument spilled into the kitchen where he strangled her. 

Mr Finlay added:

“The defendant grabbed her by the neck with both hands and grabbed her clothing.

“She pushed him away before phoning police.”

Read more:

Moorey left the house and handed himself in a few days later but refused to answer police questions. 

He was released under investigation but on November 9, while on a bail condition to stay away from the victim, he returned to her home and asked to be let in.

The victim, realising he was drunk, refused, but Moorey returned later that night and flew into a rage after looking inside the house to find she was with her former partner.

Mr Finlay said:

“The defendant was angered by this and banged and punched the windows while threatening to smash them and shouting at her former partner.”

The victim said she was afraid that Moorey would smash the windows because “he had done so before”.

She called police again, told Moorey she had done so, and he left. He was brought in for questioning and again refused to answer police questions.

Drink problem

Moorey, of Main Street, Scotton, was charged with offences including intentional strangulation, assault and threatening to damage property. He denied the allegations but ultimately admitted strangulation and threatening to damage property on the day of trial.

The allegations he denied were either dropped by the prosecution or allowed to lie on court file. 

He appeared for sentence via video link on Friday (July 28) after being remanded in custody. 

Mr Finlay said the former couple’s relationship ended a few years ago after the victim had suffered a catalogue of domestic abuse.

Moorey, a father-of-two, had nine previous offences on his record including damaging the victim’s property, sending offensive communications and breaching a restraining order. There had been previous violence against the victim.

Moorey’s defence counsel said that his client, a ground worker, had already spent about six months on custodial remand.

Judge Simon Hickey noted previous violence against the victim and that Moorey appeared to have a drink problem.

He added: 

“This lady has spoken a number of times (in the past) of finding you in drink and cans of alcohol littered around the premises. That is your problem, I’m afraid, Mr Moorey. Drink is your downfall.”

Moorey was given a 22-month jail sentence and handed a 10-year restraining order to keep him away from the victim.