A HEREFORDSHIRE man has been jailed for holding a knife to his girlfriend’s throat and threatening to kill her during a New Year’s Eve argument.

The victim was left crying hysterically and gasping for breath after Benjamin Wyatt’s attack, which was captured in a mobile phone audio recording, prosecuting barrister Sally Cairns told Worcester Crown Court.

She played the audio to the court, and the muffled sounds of crying and screaming could be heard as the kitchen knife was held against her throat and she begged him to stop.

Wyatt also threatened to kill his girlfriend if she phoned the police, and Recorder Kevin Hegarty QC said she had been treated in a “brutal, callous, wicked way”.


Mrs Cairns said the victim called the police from the bathroom after escaping his grip, but was reluctant to follow it up, eventually doing so after being encouraged by her daughter.

After finding the 47-minute long audio recording on her phone, she was “shocked and horrified” and handed it over to police.

After being out on New Year’s Eve, the couple started arguing on their way home, and it continued once they had arrived at the victim’s house.

After the attack, Wyatt, 32, left the home and was later stopped by police. He was arrested, and was also found to be over the drink-drive limit.

Mrs Cairns said Wyatt initially denied the assault, but later admit it. He told police that he couldn’t recall saying things or having a knife.

Defence barrister William Dudley said nothing could distract from the unpleasantness of the attack and it would be “futile” to suggest otherwise.


But he pleaded to Recorder Kevin Hegarty QC to suspend any custodial sentence he wanted to pass as Wyatt would be in a “worse position” afterwards.

He said alcohol was at the root of his bad behaviour, but he was of previous good character other than a caution for harassment in 2013.

Mr Dudley said it was when the “demon drink” got hold of Wyatt that his behaviour deteriorates.

But Wyatt was said to be contrite and remorseful.

Recorder Hegarty sentenced Wyatt, of Battlebridge Close, Leominster, to 28 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to making threats to kills, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, criminal damage and possession of a knife.

A restraining order preventing Wyatt from visiting or contacting the victim or her daughter was also made for 10 years.