A domestic abuser from Shefford has been jailed after he strangled and assaulted his victim.

Thomas Burden, 22, of Osborne Crescent in Shefford, committed the offences on October 11, 2022.

He approached the victim near the Quadrant Shopping Centre in Dunstable and became verbally aggressive, calling her several names. He then hit her in the face several times, before strangling her for around one minute.

After an investigation by Bedfordshire Police, Burden was sentenced on Friday, July 28, having been found guilty of intentional strangulation and common assault.

He received a sentence of two years in prison for intentional strangulation, with an extended two years on licence. He was also sentenced to six months in prison for assault - to run concurrently with the other sentence - as well as a restraining order.

Non-fatal strangulation became a specific offence in June last year, following the passing of the Domestic Abuse Act.

Previously, it was more difficult to secure appropriate charges for offences involving strangulation, as the injuries are not always possible.

Bedfordshire Police has charged 78 people with strangulation offences since the legislation was passed.

Detective Chief Superintendent Zara Brown, who is the force’s new Head of Crime and Public Protection Unit, said: “Domestic abuse and violence in any form is unacceptable, and we are committed to bringing perpetrators to justice.

“In Bedfordshire we have a dedicated team, with specialist officers working alongside our partners, who will work with victims every step of the way. We remain dedicated to making our county a hostile place for perpetrators.

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“We know that people are living with abuse and in fear and we want to help provide them with the confidence for people to walk away.

"Whether you are experiencing abuse yourself, or you are worried for someone you know, there is always help available.

“If someone is making you feel unsafe in your own home, we can help. It is never too late to report or come forward.”

More information on Bedfordshire Police's work in tackling male violence against women and girls is available here.