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Man sentenced for assaulting a work colleague after offering to walk her home

|News, Violent crime

A 24-year-old man from Southport has been sentenced for assaulting a female work colleague after offering to walk her home from a Christmas night out.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Thomas Wyland assaulted the woman after claiming that he would keep her safe as he walked her home.

The woman had joined Wyland, who is from Scarisbrick Street in Southport, and other work colleagues for some pre-Christmas drinks in the resort  on 5 December 2020.

The victim said she was leaving and Wyland insisted on accompanying her. The woman refused, saying she was fine. He insisted and said he wanted to make sure she got home safely. Finally the victim agreed.

After they had been walking for a while, he grabbed the woman by the throat and pushed her head against the wall. He began squeezing her throat and tried to kiss her.

She pushed him off and he slapped her across the head. She began to cry, managed to escape and ran all the way home.

Wyland messaged her afterwards via Facebook and apologised. She asked him why he had done it and he said that some girls liked that kind of treatment. He said he was sorry that he had got it wrong. She asked him not to contact her again.

The victim went to the police and Wyland attended Southport police station for an interview on 22 December 2020. He told officers that the victim was an attractive woman and he must have misread the situation.

The assault left the victim physically sick. She had bruising to her neck and soreness to her head. In a Victim Personal Statement, she said that the assault had really affected her life. It had damaged her relationship with her partner and made her want to give up her job, a job that she had previously enjoyed for eight years.

Thomas Wyland told the court that he had resigned from the company.

Today (30 March 2021, at South Sefton Magistrates’ Court, Wyland was given an eight-week jail term, suspended for 12 months. He was given a Community Order which states he must do 20 days of a rehabilitation activity and be supervised by the Probation Service for 12 months. A restraining order was also imposed which means he must not contact the victim in any way for three years. He must also pay her £620 in compensation.

The Victim Personal Statement was read to the court by the Crown Prosecution Service and the magistrates said it made clear what the impact of this offending is and how the effects last way beyond the moment of the actual incident.

Associate Prosecutor Angela Blackmore of CPS Mersey Cheshire said: “This case highlights the issues that women often have to face and that are very much in the news at the moment.

“Thomas Wyland told the victim that he would walk her home to protect her, even though she had said she was fine. She agreed, thinking he was being nice.

“In fact, he became the threat on that walk home. Mr Wyland told her later that he believed some women liked this sort of behaviour.

“Which woman would chose to have her throat grabbed, her head thrown against a wall and be slapped? The chairman of the Magistrates’ described Wyland as ‘a disgrace to men’.

“His actions on that night have deeply affected his victim. Thankfully she reported the incident to the police.

“The Crown Prosecution Service would like to say to all victims of this kind of behaviour: it is not acceptable, it is a crime and should not go unpunished. Report it, call it out and we will bring the perpetrators to justice.”

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