Boyfriend throttled and kicked beloved nurse days before she took her own life

News

A man attacked his girlfriend days before she killed herself as she feared no-one would believe she was the victim of domestic abuse.

Peter Yeung, of Anfield, throttled, kicking and burst the lip of nurse Alexandra Reid.

The 35-year-old former takeaway worker from Anfield attacked her on numerous occasions, but claimed she “must have” given herself the injuries.

Yeung tried to tell Alexandra, 30, known as ‘Alex’, that no one would believe she was being abused.

He even tried to phone the police to cover his tracks, before she finally had the courage to report him.

Yeung stood trial at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court today where he was convicted of two charges of assault and admitted one of criminal damage – with District Judge Andrew Shaw stating his version of events wasn’t plausible.

Angela Conlan, prosecuting, questioned why Yeung wasn’t brave enough to plead guilty to the assaults, after distressing images of Alex covered in bruises were shown to the court.

An inquest earlier this year heard Alex killed herself on February 24, seven days after making statements to police, which Judge Shaw described as the “tragic shadow” that hung over today’s trial.

Yeung was found to have assaulted much-loved Alex on January 17 and February 17.

He admitted causing criminal damage to Alex’s mobile phone.

Today’s trial heard Yeung and Alex had been together for about one year, but when they moved in together their relationship turned “rocky” as the pair argued about money.

Yeung, who admitted he was a gambling addict, was accused by Alex in a police statement of taking her money to spend in casinos after he was made unemployed from a takeaway, which he denied.

Nurse Alex also supported the couple for four months, paying all of the rent, and this led to arguments between the pair, the court heard.

On January 21, Yeung and Alex got into an argument before he was due to leave for a new hospitality job in Widnes.

In a statement from Alexandra, read in court by Ms Conlan, said: “I can’t remember what the argument was over, but I told him to leave which caused him to lose his temper.

“He threw me across a wall in our home, he hit me against the wall and he pushed me down the stairs. He started throwing things around and he booted me into the dining room table.”

Alex went on to say she barricaded herself in the bathroom with her back against the door, but Yeung kicked the door and pulled her out by the hair.

While doing so, Alex said: “He called me a slag and said ‘watch what happens to you, I hate you’.

She said he then “throttled” her and took her phone away.

As the court was shown images of Alex’s bruised body, Yeung admitted a bruise on her arm might have been caused by simply moving her out of the way because she tried to block him from leaving the house for work.

But he questioned the other pictures, saying: “I saw her two weeks or so later and they [bruises] weren’t there, she didn’t mention it.”

Alex was found to have bruises on her palm, arm, ankle, neck, chest and neck.

The court heard after the incident Alex travelled to see her friend, Ruth Kelly.

Giving evidence today, Ms Kelly said: “She was in a state of utter distress, crying and shaking. It took me a while to calm her down.”

Ms Kelly also told police Alex had a “thumb-shape” bruise on her neck, suggesting she was strangled and couldn’t have given herself the injuries.

Yeung and Alex split up shortly after this, but the couple still had a remaining month on their tenancy.

Yeung relocated to Sheffield for two weeks, but on February 17 he returned to the house where the second assault occurred.

Yeung claimed everything was fine but then Alex made suggestions he wasn’t really in Sheffield and was being unfaithful.

Under questioning from his solicitor, Vicky Balenski, he claimed she tore bed sheets off a bed he was making and threw his phone against the wall.

However Ms Conlan said: “Alex details being in an argument with the defendant and he elbowed her in the face, bruising her left cheek and bursting her lip. Her phone was also smashed as she says he smashed it.”

In her statement, Alex said Yeung smashed the phone so she couldn’t phone the police for help.

The court heard how Yeung brazenly phoned the police to say Alex was going to make up that he had hit her and he wanted to call them to get his version of events across.

He claimed Alex said: “I’m going to get you done-in.”

In a haunting 999 call played to the police, Yeung can be heard shouting at Alex and saying ‘I haven’t hit you”, before Alex manages to ring the emergency services some time later to ask if they’re on their way.

The force did not arrive until eight hours later.

Yeung said he “didn’t know” how Alex’s lip was burst and shamefully said she was plotting to falsely report Yeung to the police for domestic abuse “like she had with previous partners.”

A former partner of Alex’s, Karl Houghton, had been sentenced for assaulting her years ago, the court heard.

However, Houghton was called “brave” and praised by Judge Shaw for appearing in court today to clear Alex’s name and admit to assaulting her himself.

He said it was “one of the biggest regrets of his life”, but Alex was telling the truth and he did assault her.

Judge Shaw said Yeung’s version of the assaults were not plausible, and he found him guilty of both counts.

Speaking after an inquest, earlier this year, Alex’s sister, Katy Reid, said she was “loved by everyone”.

Katy said: “I don’t know anyone who didn’t like her. Everyone’s just really heartbroken that it’s happened.

“She was good to all her friends and always there for them no matter what.

“Even if they rang her in the middle of the night, she would go and have a cup of tea with them, she was that kind of person.”

During the inquest, her mum, Annette Leonard, said: “She was loved by everyone who knew her.

“She meant the world to us and she made a difference to everyone’s lives that she touched.”

Sentencing was adjourned until February 8, and Yeung was bailed under the conditions that he must not enter the postcode area of L11 or contact any witnesses in the case.