COUNTY NEWS: Man accused of threatening to kill his internet lover

A MAN has gone on trial in Essex accused of holding a saw at the throat of a woman he met through an internet dating agency, spraying her with window cleaning fluid and threatening to kill her.

The case continues
The case continues

Craig Steeles, 26, of Linden Park, Littlehampton, is also alleged to have put a carving knife to her stomach.

During a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court earlier today (May 13), jurors were told how Steeles threatened his victim, saying: “If you leave me, I’ll kill you.”

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The court also heard how his alleged victim, Karen Anthony, of Sunnyside Road, Epping, also endured twice being grabbed around the throat and a glass containing Ribena being thrown at her.

Steeles, who denies harassment between November 27 and December 6, 2013, moved in with Ms Anthony in March, 2013, after meeting her online in November of 2012.

Giving evidence today, Ms Anthony told the court how Steeles was ‘controlling’ and didn’t like her going to a friend’s house with things coming to a head on November 27.

She said: “I was feeling low and trapped by the relationship.

“He said things like ‘you’re in a funny mood,’ which normally sparked an argument but I didn’t want an argument.”

She described how she had been cleaning the windows and was sitting on the sofa, when Steeles picked up a window spray and sprayed it into her eyes.

“It stung and I was crying and I screamed because builders were outside and I hoped someone would hear,” she added. “He put his hands over my mouth and telling me to be quiet.

“I said I needed to go to the bathroom and sat on the bath. He was saying ‘please don’t leave me’, I said ‘I’d rather be dead than in a relationship with you.’

“He left and came back with a big carving knife and pointing it at my stomach said ‘if you leave me, I’ll kill you’.

“I was terrified but I pacified him as he kept on saying, ‘please don’t leave me, please don’t leave me’, and he left the bathroom. I hid the knife behind the fridge.”

Earlier, prosecutor Gerard Renouf said a second incident occurred about 10 days later when, he had been putting up blinds in the living room and matters ‘flared up’ and he took a saw from his tool box and held it against her throat saying and again threatening to kill Ms Anthony.

Although not part of the charge, said Mr Renouf, there had been a background of two incidents between June 15 and September 23, 2013, where he allegedly grabbed her around the throat and threw a glass of Ribena at her.

The case continues.

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