A BOLTON thug who strangled his partner and suffocated her with a pillow has become one of the first in the country to be sentenced under a new law designed to punish domestic violence.

In June the use of non-fatal strangulation or suffocation became a specific offence, as part of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, with punishment of up to five years in prison.

Up until then abusers who used such methods could often only be charged with common assault, which attracts a maximum sentence of six months in prison.

At Bolton Crown Court Tyler Lowe, who has repeatedly used violence against women, was jailed for two years and four months after pleading guilty to strangulation, suffocation, assault and damaging his victim’s phone.

David Farley, prosecuting, told how Lowe, aged 28, of Montserrat Road, Johnson Fold, had previously served a prison sentence for attacking his partner and she had moved to Wigan to try and start a new life away from him.

He was on licence from prison with conditions to stay away from her.

But on June 28 just after 10pm police were called to her home by concerned neighbours who heard a “bad argument” going on and she opened the door to them.

“In their view she was visibly shaken and upset. She reluctantly confirmed that it was the defendant who had been at the address,” said Mr Farley.

The woman told officers that she had agreed to start seeing Lowe again after he promised things would be different.

She suffered bruises and and stated that, two days earlier, Lowe had tried to strangle her and had held a pillow over her face. She feared that he would kill her.

Lowe had run from the address but police found him there again on July 5 and arrested him.

The court heard that Lowe has multiple previous convictions for violence including affray and criminal damage. In 2019 he was jailed for headbutting and punching his girlfriend in the face.

Nicholas Ross, defending, said after he release from his last prison sentence Lowe obtained well-paid work as a manager for a packaging recycling firm and is ashamed of his behaviour towards his partner.

He stressed that, at the time of the offences, Lowe’s mental health treatment was not working properly.

“Coupled with some drink on the two days in question with the victim, that, unfortunately, sent him over the edge,” said Mr Ross “He is devastated for the victim and he understands this sort of conduct is shameful and has no place whatsoever in society.

“He understands he has a lot of work and learning to do.”

Sentencing Lowe, Judge Tom Gilbart told him: “This was vulnerable victim – a woman in her own home.

“Holding a pillow over a victims face and strangling her risked the most serious consequences.”

The judge made a restraining order banning Lowe from contacting his victim for 10 years.