A VIOLENT thug who attacked his partner after a night of drinking and taking cocaine hid her keys so she couldn’t escape from him.

The police had to burst into the woman’s flat after she managed to put out a cry for help once her now ex-boyfriend, Charlie Morris, had fallen asleep.

Preston Crown Court (Sessions House) heard how the pair had been out socialising together, drinking and taking cocaine on the evening of May 30, shortly before the incident happened.

Outlining the episode, which took place in the early hours of May 31, prosecutor Charles Brown said that the 26-year-old became enraged when his victim refused to hand over her mobile phone to him.

He said: “The defendant was of a jealous disposition and had suspicions that she had been contacting other men. He demanded her telephone and the code to access it to check if the suspicions were well-founded. She refused.

“An argument then took place. According to her police interview there had been incidents of this nature before and so she took a knife and placed it on the counter in case the situation would be violent again.

“He swept it onto the floor however and pushed her onto the ground and pinned her down with his knees and struck her to the face and body.

“He continued demanding the code to her phone. The blows to her had such an affect that she could barely see.”

Eventually the victim did give Morris the code, on the promise that an end would come to the brutal attack against her.

However that wasn’t the end of the incident, as when she got to her feet the victim asked to leave her home to seek safety.

Mr Brown said: “He told her, ‘you’re not f****** going anywhere’. He then found her handbag, emptied in onto the floor in search for her keys to prevent her from leaving. She was terrified.”

Playing along, the couple then went to bed with the victim waiting for Morris to fall asleep before she crept out of bed to get her phone for help. Too fearful to call the police, she messaged a friend who called them for her. Shortly after, they burst into the house.

The victim had swelling to her eye and jaw and a cut to her lip which had to be treated with stitches. She was later referred to an eye and ear specialist who found there was no lasting damage.

Defending Morris, of Albert Street, Colne, Barbara Webster said that while Morris admitted the assault charge, he didn’t fully accept the false imprisonment.

She said: “He is truly sorry for his actions that night. He was in drink and drugs.He can’t apologise enough for what took place.”

She added: “He is willing to work hard with the prison and mental health team to reduce any risk of any offending in the future. This is someone who is willing to turn their life around. What we see is someone keen to move on. He knows that the life we see is that outlined in his record. He is finding it very difficult being away from his daughter.”

Jailing Morris for three-and-a-half years, Judge Graham Knowles QC told the court he had received and read several references for Morris - one of which his grandmother had signed off to him with a kiss.

He said: “Criminal damage, battery, failure to surrender, assault, wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm. This is your record.

“‘Charlie is well liked by many, especially because of his respectful and good character,’ writes one of your references.

“These are among the most unhelpful references I have read for many years. You are a violent man, not one of good character.

“It is highly unhelpful for me for your grandmother to tell me she can’t believe you’re guilty of what you have done. She goes on to blame your victim in the same way you have.

“This failure on your grandmother’s part to understand what is going on is illustrated by the fact she signs her reference to me with a kiss.”

Speaking about the incident, he added: “You had a relationship with your victim which had ended, but because of Covid you didn’t really have anywhere to live.

“She took you back and gave you her trust and you repaid it with brutal violence. You were drunk and high on cocaine.”

He continued: “You demanded her phone and her pin number. When she wouldn’t hand it over you battered her, including while she was on the floor.

“You battered her head. It is a great mercy that no bone was broken. She wasn’t able to leave the house, she didn’t know where the key was.

“She had to equip herself with a knife because she says from experience that has warded you off before. But it didn’t work because you managed to disarm her. It is obvious from what happened that she would have been petrified.

“Reading the messages that she sent to her friend through who she was able to get the police in, is a distressing experience. Her abject terror sings out from those messages.”

Judge Knowles also issued a restraining order, stopping Morris from contacting his victim.