A DEESIDE man who threw vodka over his ex-partner on Christmas Day has been spared jail.

Andrew Williams-Barnes of The Brambles, Shotton, appeared before Caernarfon Crown Court for sentencing on Tuesday, November 21.

The 30-year-old initially pleaded not guilty to one count of controlling/coercive behaviour and two counts of criminal damage at a Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing on June 22, 2022.

However, he later pleaded guilty to controlling/coercive behaviour on September 14 of this year, four days before a trial was set to take place, with the criminal damage counts being left to 'lie on the file'.

Simon Rogers, prosecuting in the case, told the court that Williams-Barnes began a relationship with Joanna Sobanska in August of 2021 and had moved in with her soon after.

The court heard there were 'no issues for the first three months', but the defendant became 'abusive' after that.

He threatened her by saying 'You don't know what I'm capable of', would make her wear certain clothes and make-up and force her to delete any male friends off social media.

The first attack took place on Christmas Day in 2021, Mr Rogers said.

On that day, the couple had been drinking together, but an argument ensued and that led to the defendant throwing vodka at Ms Sobanska, which ended up in her eyes.

When she tried to make her way upstairs to clean her eyes out with water, he pinned her 'by her throat' to the dining room wall.

He then 'sat on her', putting his knee in her kidney area which led to 'severe bruising' to her back, the court heard.

When Ms Sobanska's mother saw this bruising two days later, the complainant said it was as a result of 'an accident'.

On January 3, 2022, another incident took place following an argument over food that Williams-Barnes had bought for his then-partner.

When she told him she wasn't hungry, he proceeded to throw the food at her, as well as a remote control which hit her hand and damaged her mobile phone in the process.

On January 15, a row over board games led to the defendant again pinning Ms Sobanska to a wall, 'digging his thumbs into her windpipe'.

Mr Rogers said that this incident took place in front of children and led to a neighbour coming round to check up on the complainant before being told to 'f*** off' by Williams-Barnes.

A curtain pole, a Christmas tree and toys were damaged during that incident, the court heard.

Ms Sobanska reported the incidents to the police on January 19 and Williams-Barnes was arrested at 2.26am the next day.

In a victim personal statement, Ms Sobanska said that the incidents had left her 'questioning my worth'.

She added that they had made her 'become anti-social' and that she 'no longer trusts people'.


Ember-Jade Wong, defending, said that Williams-Barnes accepts that this was an 'unpleasant case of offending'.

She added that it was 'out of character' for the defendant who had no previous convictions.

Judge Nicola Saffman described the incidents as 'persistent'.

Williams-Barnes was sentenced to 22 months in jail, suspended for a period of two years.

He will have to complete 35 'Building Better Relationships' sessions, as well as 10 days of a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement programme.

A restraining order lasting a period of ten years was also made by Judge Saffman.