Clothing company owner avoids jail after strangling ex-partner

James Harkness, who runs Oxfordshire’s Stay Close Clothing company, was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday (March 26) for one count each of common assault, criminal damage and intentional strangulation.

READ MORE: Scales of Justice: The latest cases from Oxford Magistrates’ Court

The 33-year-old was handed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

It was heard that Harkness could have faced an immediate custodial sentence but the judge was persuaded he could be rehabilitated within the community along with help from his father, who was present in court, and friends.

Harkness, of St Hughs Close, Bicester, was also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work, 12 weeks of alcohol and abstinence and has been ordered to pay the victim £500 in compensation.

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