Welwyn Garden City man found guilty after slashing ex-girlfriend's throat and wrist

Darryl Harding is on trial at St Albans Crown Court.

Darryl Harding will appear at court later this month for sentencing - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

A Welwyn Garden City man has been found guilty of wounding with intent after cutting his ex-partner's wrist and throat with a Stanley knife.

Darryl Harding, 53, was also convicted of controlling or coercive behaviour from December 29, 2015 to October 8, 2020 and attempted escape, but was cleared of an attempted murder charge.

Prosecutor Philip Misner told St Albans Crown Court Harding had been in a relationship with the 43-year-old for at least six years.

He said: “During that time he belittled her to destroy her self-esteem. He made her feel small and worthless.”

He said on one occasion Harding set fire to her kitchen curtains and on another he threw two turtles from a tank into the garden where they died. He is said to have smashed her iPhones because he did not want anyone else talking to her.

“He smashed the front offside window of her car, punched her in the face and pulled her out of the car. He repeatedly punched her in the hallway of their home."

The woman reported him to the police in April last year and he was bailed and told not to have any contact with her.

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Despite the bail conditions, they met at the Chieftain Pub in Welwyn Garden City. She recorded some of the conversation in which the prosecutor said he “treated her with contempt” and “put her down”.

After they left the Chieftain, they went on to the Homestead Court Hotel in the town where Mr Misner alleged he complained he had been “stitched up".

He went on: “He smashed the TV in the room. He punched the shower screen when she was in bath, seized her in the bath and started to strangle her."

Eventually the police were called and Harding was bailed to a friend’s address.

The woman visited him there on Saturday January 30. Mr Misner said: “The two of them drank wine. He started shouting at her saying he was worried about going to prison and that she was seeing another man.”

After telling her, “We are both going to die tonight,” he had sex with the woman. The prosecutor said he continued to talk about the other man before she saw him go over to a book case.

“Standing with a leg each side of her he slashed her right wrist and cut her throat with a Stanley knife. He then slashed at his own neck when the others became involved,” said Mr Misner.

The woman locked herself in a bathroom until the police arrived.

Harding has been remanded in custody and is due back in court for sentencing on July 20.