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Canterbury thug threatened to chop girlfriend's head off with sword

An abuser held a samurai sword to his girlfriend’s throat then threatened to chop off her head and bury her body in the garden.

Cruel Matthew Pithers also thrashed the woman's face and arms with a baseball bat during his reign of abuse in Canterbury.

Matthew Pithers was jailed for three years and one month
Matthew Pithers was jailed for three years and one month

The 36-year-old would then intensify the psychological trauma by dropping the weapons and pretending nothing happened.

A judge praised her "real courage and guts" in coming forward as she sat in the public gallery to watch her tormentor locked up.

Pithers was jailed for three years and a month.

The car-cleaner pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm, and assault by beating, at a previous hearing.

He pleaded guilty to making threats to kill on Tuesday, the day of trial.

Wielding a samurai sword, Pithers chased his victim into the bathroom
Wielding a samurai sword, Pithers chased his victim into the bathroom

Canterbury Crown Court heard Pithers pushed her onto the settee, grabbed her throat and smashed a baseball bat into her face and leg, at their Reed Avenue home last August.

"The defendant then put the bat back where it was and then pretended nothing had happened," prosecutor Mary Jacobson explained.

The woman had been physically and mentally abused before the August attack but no charges were brought, the barrister added.

In September he would put her in genuine fear for her life.

Out shopping, she received a text from Pithers complaining she didn’t say goodbye when leaving the house.

He demanded she return home or he was going to burn her belongings.

Pithers pretended like nothing happened after hitting his girlfriend with a baseball bat
Pithers pretended like nothing happened after hitting his girlfriend with a baseball bat

When she arrived Pithers was concealing a samurai sword under a duvet on the sofa.

“He then pointed it at her and said he will chop her head off,” Ms Jacobson continued.

“After a few minutes he put the sword between the settee and wall and acted like nothing had happened.”

Later, Pithers grabbed the same sword and chased his victim into the bathroom.

Squeezing her by the throat with the blade to her neck he shouted he was going to kill and bury her in the garden.

He closed the windows to stop the sound of her screaming and crying reaching the neighbours, then took the sim card out of her phone.

Pithers was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court
Pithers was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court

Following his arrest on September 6, Pithers said the allegations were fake and the victim was jealous after he found a new partner.

He gave a no comment interview, adding he suffered from ADHD.

Pithers, who has six convictions for nine offences including two for violence, regretted the attacks, his barrister said.

Craig Evans told Judge Mark Weekes: "Mr Pithers wishes that these incidents had never occurred and regrets that they had.

"There is a different side of Mr Pithers.

"There is no doubt this relationship had become toxic and as far as Mr Pithers is concerned he has another partner, she sits in court, she is supportive of him."

Judge Weekes told the court it takes victims of domestic abuse "real courage and guts" coming forward and praised the woman.

He told Pithers: "You pointed the sword at her and you told her that you intended to chop her head off and other threats.

"It is of little surprise she was terrified."

Wearing a blue sweater, Pithers spoke only to discuss the terms of his restraining order.

He is banned from making contact with the victim or entering Reed Avenue and surrounding roads.

Speaking after the case DC Harriet Slegg, Kent Police's investigating officer, said: "I would like to praise the victim in this case for coming forward and supporting our case.

"I would urge anyone assaulted or threatened by someone they know to report it to police so we can investigate and take action to support them."

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here

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