'Brazen and vicious' abuser who grabbed partner by the neck in Shrewsbury thwarted by brave witnesses

A "brazen and vicious" domestic abuser who grabbed his partner by the throat and dragged her along the street was thwarted by brave members of the public.

Declan Moorhouse, aged 24, left onlookers horrified when he assaulted the woman in the Frankwell area in Shrewsbury town centre.

Fortunately for the victim, several people followed as he tried to take her out of sight, and remained watching until the police arrived.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard how an argument the pair were having in The Wheatsheaf pub spilled into the street late at night on May 7 this year.

"They had a heated verbal altercation," said Dean Easthope, prosecuting. "She asked him to leave."

But Moorhouse did not leave her alone and continued to be abusive. A group of young men objected to Moorhouse's behaviour, and set about him.

Even that did not stop Moorhouse, who was described by members of the public as "marching" the woman up the road towards the Frankwell roundabout.

Mr Easthope said witnesses saw Moorhouse "grab her by the neck" and say: "Stupid f****** b****, look what you've done. Now we've got people watching us."

He then took her down a residential street, but concerned members of the public followed, fearing for her safety. Moorhouse told them to "f*** off" and said to the woman that because of her "these d******** are following us".

The police were called and Moorhouse was arrested.

The assault came a matter of weeks after Moorhouse was sentenced to an 18-month suspended jail term for multiple breaches of a criminal behaviour order.

The court heard that Moorhouse has previous 14 convictions for 42 offences - several of which are related to domestic abuse.

Moorhouse, of The Knolls, Bicton Heath, Shrewsbury, pleaded guilty to one charge of assault by beating.

Rob Edwards, mitigating, said Moorhouse, whose mother and grandfather were in the public gallery, knows he cannot have a relationship with someone now until "he knows what one is". He added that Moorhouse has done some work on his relationship with alcohol since being in custody.

Judge Peter Barrie activated Moorhouse's suspended sentence and added on three months for the attack on his partner, handing down a total 21-month sentence. He will serve half in jail and the rest on licence.

He told Moorhouse his behaviour "was causing great concern to passers-by".

After the sentence was handed down, Detective Constable Geoff Anslow of Shrewsbury CID at West Mercia Police said: “This was a brazen and vicious assault upon a vulnerable victim, committed in full view of members of the public. I would like to thank the victim in this case, and also several witnesses who bravely intervened and brought this matter to police attention.

“We welcome the sentence that has been handed to Moorhouse, and we hope it sends a strong message to anyone engaging in any form of violence that they will be investigated and prosecuted accordingly.

“As a force we are committed to tackling violence against women and girls by ensuring our community remains a safe place to live and work. I also want to reassure the public that we act on all reports we receive, and will do our upmost to bring offenders to justice.”

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