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Littlehampton Man Jailed For Violent Attack On Woman In Brighton And Sexual Assault

A Littlehampton man who sexually assaulted a woman and subjected her to a horrific assault has been jailed for 15 years.

Christopher Holland, 34, of Mill Lane, was charged with intentional strangulation, causing actual bodily harm (ABH) and engaging in coercive/controlling behaviour following a vicious attack in November, 2022.

He was later charged with sexual assault by penetration after his victim reported a separate incident during the investigation.

Police were called to a property in Brighton in the early hours of Saturday, November 26, after neighbours reported a woman screaming for help.

Officers forced their way into the property as Holland jumped from a second storey window and fled the scene.

His victim – a woman in her 40s - had suffered significant injuries after what she described as a vicious, prolonged assault over more than 90 minutes, in which she feared she would be killed.

She was safeguarded and a manhunt was launched to locate Holland, who was arrested within 24 hours.

He was charged with intentional strangulation, ABH and coercive/controlling behaviour and remanded in custody on November 28, 2022.

At Hove Crown Court on February 9, he pleaded guilty to all three offences.

While awaiting sentencing, he was also charged with a violent sexual assault from August, 2022.

He was subsequently charged with sexual assault by penetration, of which he was found guilty by a jury at Lewes Crown Court on November 8.

At the same court on Friday (January 5), Holland was sentenced to 15 years in prison and given an indefinite restraining order against his victim. 

In a victim impact statement read out in court, Holland’s victim described the impact of his abuse.

“In the immediate aftermath, I was too scared to be in my house alone. Even though I knew that Chris was in prison, I kept thinking he was coming through the door for me. If I heard his ringtone or saw a red car that looked like his, panic would set in, and I would get anxious.

"Following the attack, my self-confidence was gone. During the assault, Chris pulled out so much of my hair that I was basically bald on the lower half of my head.

"My hair was pulled out so viciously that the hospital said it was gone at the root and would take a long time to grow back as a result. My head was swollen and painful.”

Detective Constable Jess Gwynn said:

“Domestic violence devastates lives, from the physical impacts of assaults to the long-lasting, psychological trauma that victims carry with them once they are free of their abuser.

“Christopher Holland very quickly tried to control every aspect of his victim’s life, reaching a head with an appalling, prolonged attack that could have had tragic consequences if not for the quick-thinking of neighbours to call the police.

“Thanks to them, and the bravery of this young woman to support the investigation through to prosecution, a dangerous individual is now behind bars.

“If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, please know the help is out there. Contact police online or via 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.”

For more information, visit Advice about domestic abuse | Sussex Police

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