November 30, 2021

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Derby builder who strangled partner in dream ‘was not trying to kill her’

3 min read

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

Bradley Souto said he woke on his back in bed and was choking Rebecca Jackson with his left arm.

The 31-year-old of Alvaston said he jumped up, switched on the bedroom light and saw the face of his then girlfriend and mother of his children was purple.

And he added that he decided to call his mother before phoning an ambulance as he “panicked”.

Dad-of-two Souto 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.

He denies the charge.

Nicola Hunter, his barrister, asked him: “Tell us a little bit about this dream.”

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: “I was terrified to wake up and see her like that, I had a good idea about what happened.

“I tried to wake her up, I said ‘Bec please wake up, talk to me.

“I panicked, I did not know what to do, I rang my mum, I didn’t know if she (Miss Jackson) 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.”

Miss Hunter sad to the defendant: “Did you want to kill Rebecca?”

Souto replied: “No.”

Miss Hunter said: “Were you trying to kill Rebecca?”

He said: “No.”

Now in its second week, the trail has been told how Souto and Miss Jackson had been in a relationship for around 10 years.

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

The trial was told after leaving the family home with their children in January 2019, Miss Jackson moved back into Farm Drive 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 on November 14, 2019.

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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’.

“I just thought what’s going to happen to my children when I am gone?’.”

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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