Jail for ‘cruel’ Mansfield man who slashed wife’s wrist and choked her

A Mansfield man who cut his wife's wrist with a letter-opener and choked her has been locked up for three years, a court has heard.

Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 3:47 pm

Michael Hyla's gambling drove his wife 'to distraction' and his cruelty 'drove her to the point of wanting to kill herself,' Judge Stuart Rafferty QC told him on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Dawn Pritchard described how Hyla, aged 45, destroyed her passport and confiscated her bank card to prevent her from leaving and even spied on her with a hidden camera, as part of a campaign of controlling and coercive behaviour, at their home in Forest Town.

She said his conduct, on dates in April, June and August, 2021, was 'intended to maximise fear and distress' and she placed the offences in the most serious category.

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Michael Hyla.

Gregor Purcell, mitigating, said Hyla, of previous good character, has been in custody for some time during Covid, and asked the judge to consider the offences in their totality.

He said the defendant has been in this country for 16 years and has ‘worked hard’ in that time.

"Finding himself in custody has been a salutary experience," he said. "He knows his partner is a good person and someone who has looked after their children very well."

"He knows their relationship is over," Mr Purcell added.

Nottingham Crown Court.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that Hyla, now of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to coercive and controlling behaviour, common assault and two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, a week before a trial was due to take place.

"For you to express remorse days before your trial hardly demonstrates you truly regret what you did," Judge Rafferty told him.

"It's taken the clang of the prison gates for you to appreciate your wife," he said.

"She put up with you far longer than she needed to. And for far longer than she should have. If you had thought anything about her, and respected her, you would have pleaded guilty from the outset.

"You spied on her. You tracked her. You assaulted her with, and without, weapons."

The judge sentenced him to a total of three years in prison and imposed a ten-year restraining order.

"Understand, any single breach of that restraining order carries a theoretical maximum of five years in prison,” he told Hyla before sending him down.

Speaking after the hearing, Detective Constable Ella Redfern, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Hyla is a violent and controlling bully who perpetrated a very deliberate and frightening campaign of physical and emotional abuse against his victim. His actions were utterly contemptible and I am pleased he has now been held to account.

“We treat violence against women and girls extremely seriously and will always work tirelessly to investigate allegations and bring perpetrators to justice.

“All we need is a single call from a victim or their family to begin our work and to hold those responsible to account.

“We also work closely with a range of expert support organisations to ensure that victims are given the help and support they need.”

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