Tuesday 22 January 2019

Man jailed for punching girlfriend, trying to strangle her and killing her kitten

Lawrence Santos (Photo: Met Police)
Lawrence Santos (Photo: Met Police)

Jon Sharman

A man has been jailed for punching his girlfriend in the head, trying to strangle her and killing her kitten.

Lawrence Santos, 24, was also handed a five-year restraining order after he pinned his victim to a bed and struck her repeatedly, having already killed her cat Mimi.

The Metropolitan Police said the woman’s ordeal began shortly before midnight on 13 August last year, when Santos woke her and claimed he had been bathing the five-month-old kitten before it stopped responding.

The woman jumped out of bed and tried to revive Mimi but was not able to do so. The pair then argued and Santos grabbed the woman by her shoulders and pushed her against the bed.

Once on top of her he restrained her and repeatedly slapped, then punched her, police said.

He also smashed her phone.

The woman managed to escape despite Santos’ efforts to keep her from leaving the flat, in Maida Vale, and ran outside where she tried to hail a taxi.

Santos tried to pull her back inside but passers-by came to her rescue and called the police, the Met said.

He was arrested and charged with two counts of assault by beating, two counts of criminal damage and two offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

Santos, of Bourne Terrace, west London, admitted all the charges after the welfare counts were merged into the criminal damage offences, the Met said. He was jailed for 14 months at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday.

Detective Constable Isabella Grotto, of Westminster’s community support unit, said: “Santos is a dangerous individual who killed a defenceless animal before viciously attacking his girlfriend.

“I’d like to praise the victim’s incredibly bravery for both escaping from Santos on the evening and for assisting police throughout the investigation so we could secure today’s conviction.

“I’d also like to praise the bystanders on the evening who rushed to the victim’s aid and called the police.”

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