A cruel bully tormented his former partner while they were in a relationship in a "prolonged term of offending".

Gareth Brierley, of Glaister Lane, Bolton, was with the woman for 13 years.

But Bolton Crown Court heard the relationship deteriorated towards the end of it and he engaged in controlling and coercive behaviour between June 2016 and September 2021.

Brierley admitted there had been four occasions when she had feared violence from him, prosecutor John Richards told the court.

There was also an occasion when he referred to her as a prostitute and used other derogatory terms, the court was told.

He also imposed a rule stating that curtains must be closed at the house and windows could only be opened when he was present.

After the woman was hospitalised with an asthma attack he mocked her and said he should have let her die.

Mr Richards read a victim impact statement from the woman.

It said she had lost confidence and he had “slowly annihilated every bit of her personality".

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Brierley, 41, appeared in court to be sentenced after admitting controlling and coercive behaviour in a relationship.

He also admitted two common assaults, the details of which cannot be reported on for legal reasons.

Harriet Lavin, defending, said the behaviour had not been present in a previous relationship and he could be undergo a programme in the community to address his issues.

She said the loss of the relationship had been punishment for him and he faced losing his job and accommodation if he were sent to prison.

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Judge Tom Gilbart said: “I am not satisfied there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.

“This was a prolonged term of offending.

“Appropriate punishment can only be achieved by immediate custody.

“I would be failing in my public duty if I suspended this term.”

He jailed him for 20 months and imposed a restraining order for an indefinite period.