A man threatened to kill his girlfriend as he “gashed” her throat with a kitchen knife, York Crown Court heard.

Timothy Clark, 41, had twice throttled the woman but she didn’t tell anyone until he locked her outside in a backyard.

“She had convinced herself she remained in love with the defendant,” said Aymer Khokhar, prosecuting.

Clark claimed that the woman had consented to being throttled when police questioned him.

Today he is serving a four-year prison sentence for domestic violence and subject to a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting the woman, going to her home or mentioning her on social media.

Clark, formerly of Acomb, and now of Bainbridge Drive, Selby, pleaded guilty on the day he was due to stand trial to two charges of non-fatal strangulation, one of wounding and one of making a threat to kill.

After looking at a picture of the wound the knife left on the woman’s neck, Judge Simon Hickey called it a “definite gash”.

The first time Clark had throttled the woman, she had been unable to breathe, the judge said.

Clark was remanded in custody in December after he admitted breaching his bail conditions by being in contact with the woman.

Mr Khokhar said the couple had been in a relationship since 2021 and lived together. On July 28, they sat up all night watching films and drinking rum.

At 8am on July 29, they argued and Clark called the woman “manipulative”, and held a kitchen knife to his own neck claiming he would harm himself.

The woman pleaded for him to stop.

Then he grabbed her by the throat putting pressure on her neck before putting the five-inch knife to her neck and cutting the skin.

“The defendant said at the time ‘I am going to kill you’,” said Mr Khokhar.

Clark backed off before trying to hug the woman and apologise but she pushed him away and went out to the back yard.

He locked the door. By then a neighbour who had heard her shouting at Clark to get off her had rung police.

Clark at first refused to let police into the house until the woman called that he had locked her in the backyard.

She then told officers that Clark had throttled her in the previous month.

For Clark, Steven Garth said after Clark was arrested and released on bail, the woman had contacted him and spent time with him including booking hotel rooms for them away from York so police would not find out he was breaching his bail conditions.

He didn’t remember what happened on July 29 because of the amount of alcohol he had drunk. He was sorry for his actions and now accepted the relationship was over, the court heard.

“He wishes to put this unhappy chapter of his life behind him," said Mr Garth.

Clark had found prison life difficult.

York magistrates remanded Clark in custody in December for breaching his bail by being with the woman.

  • The York -based charity Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS) helps anyone suffering from or affected by domestic abuse of any kind including physical, emotional, psychological or sexual. Its 24-hour helpline is 0808 2000 247, its North Yorkshire contact number is 03000 110 110 and its email is at info@idas.org.uk. Its website is https://idas.org.uk/.