Derbyshire builder claimed he strangled his partner after waking from 'cage fighting dream'

A Derbyshire man who claimed he strangled his partner after having a dream about cage fighting has been jailed for 18 years.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 4:50 pm

Builder Bradley Souto attacked his partner Rebecca Jackson as she slept on the evening of November 13, 2019.

After choking her unconscious, he rang his mother who told him to ring 999. A passing ambulance was diverted to the address and paramedics rushed to save Rebecca’s life.

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Bradley Souto strangled his partner but claimed he had done it after awaking from a dream about cage fighting.

Souto then went into the kitchen of the couple’s home in Farm Drive, Alvaston, Derby, and cut his wrists.

The 30-year-old was arrested and charged with attempted murder – which he denied.

He forced his partner of 10 years to relive the horrifying moment again during a nearly two-week-long trial at Derby Crown Court.

Souto’s defence was built on his claim that he had been dreaming about cage fighting and that he was watching himself fight an opponent who he had in a chokehold.

When he awoke, he said, he found he was choking the mother of his two children.

During today’s sentencing, Rebecca’s victim impact statement was read out to the court.

“My life has been completely turned upside down and has been far from normal ever since that day,” she said.

"I am dealing with the consequences of his actions each and every day, and my children are also dealing with that.

"I can’t imagine a time when my life will ever be normal again.

“I can no longer let my children hug me around my neck, it upsets and panics me and makes me wince at the feeling. The children now know that they can’t hug me around my neck.

"They know that Bradley hurt my neck and the reason why I don’t like it. I don’t think that the children are going to hurt me, but the feeling of arms around my neck is no longer a comfort to me.”

DC Joe Lovelock, who led the investigation, said: “This was an extremely unusual case and could so easily have seen a murder charge being put before the court – had it not been for an ambulance being so close to the scene."

He added: “One can only begin to imagine the shock and abject terror that she must have felt that night and I can only thank her for her fortitude.”