United Kingdom

Builder who 'choked partner while dreaming he was cage fighting' says he did not intend to kill her

An alcoholic builder who choked his partner while dreaming he was cage fighting has told a jury he did not intend to kill her.

Bradley Souto  31, from Derby, said he awoke bed to find himself choking his girlfriend Rebecca Jackson with his left arm.

Souto, who drank 18 cans of cider a night during the worst of his alcoholism, said he jumped up, switched on the bedroom light and saw the face of his then girlfriend and mother of his children was purple.

Bradley Souto, 31, who choked his partner while dreaming he was cage fighting has told a jury he did not intend to kill her. Pictured: police at the scene 

He told his attempted murder trial that he immediately called his mother before phoning an ambulance as he 'panicked'. Miss Jackson survived. the ordeal.

The father-of-two is on trial at Derby Crown Court after being charged with the attempted murder of Miss Jackson at their Farm Drive home in November 2019, and he denies the charge. 

Giving evidence in his defence he said: 'I dreamed I was part of a UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fight which is a type of cage fighting.

'I was dreaming I was watching myself from the outside, from ringside, watching myself choking somebody from behind.

'I woke up and realised Rebecca's breathing was not right. I thought to myself "please God, no" and I jumped out of bed and turned the bedroom light on.

'I looked down at her, her face was puffy, purple, dark red.'

Souto said he was 'terrified' when he woke up and was unable to rouse his girlfriend.

He said: 'I panicked, I did not know what to do, I rang my mum, I didn't know if she would be alive much longer.

'I said to my mum "I think I have killed her" and she told me to ring an ambulance, which I did.' 

The builder told his attempted murder trial at Derby Crown Court (pictured) that he immediately called his mother before phoning an ambulance as he 'panicked'

The trial, in its second week, heard how Souto and Miss Jackson had been in a relationship for 10 years.

In 2018 his alcoholism spiralled to the extent he was drinking as many as 18 cans of Strongbow cider per night.

His drinking prompted Miss Jackson to leave the family home with their children in January 2019.

She returned in the May of that year after he promised to cut down.

Giving her evidence on the first day of the trial, said she woke to find Souto strangling her as they lay in bed together at around 10pm.

She said she heard her then partner say to her 'don't worry this won't take much longer'.

Miss Jackson said: 'He had his arm around my neck, it was so tight, really really tight, I was really struggling to breath.

'I just thought I was going to die, I thought "this is it now, I am at the end of my life now".

'My biggest fear was leaving the children without a mum, I absolutely love my children. I just thought "I can't believe he's doing this to me, I'm dead".' 

On day two of the trial the 999 call Souto made was played at Derby Crown Court.

In it he told the call operator: 'I ran a rampage, I choked my girlfriend out she's very purple in the face.

'She's going purple and red, I did it to her, I choked it her, I'm very scared, I would like to keep her alive, I have done this myself.'

The trial continues.

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