James Riley, 28, received a 16-year sentence at Manchester Crown Court on Friday (Picture: Greater Manchester Police/Bruce Adams/Daily Mail)
A policeman who attacked his ex-girlfriend in a ‘jealous rage’ has been jailed for 16 years.
Manchester Crown Court on Friday heard how James Riley, 28, strangled his partner, PhD student Ellie Moxham, and left her unconscious on the floor of their hotel room in the city centre while he called for an ambulance.
Emergency services subsequently rushed Ms Moxham to hospital, were she was placed in an induced coma before regaining consciousness the following day.
Riley, of Preston, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to attempted murder at a previous hearing.
The officer was off-duty when the incident took place on November 10, 2022. He has since been dismissed by Lancashire Constabulary.
Prosecutors told the court that Riley and Ms Moxham had been in a relationship for several years, having even bought a house together in 2021.
However, it is understood their relationship had reached its end by the time of the attack.
Riley was also dismissed from his post with Lancashire Constabulary following the attack in 2022 (Picture: PA)
At sentencing, Judge Patrick Field KC said: ‘The relationship had become an unhappy one, characterised by jealousy and possessive behaviour on your part.
‘Nevertheless, you and she had plans earlier to attend a concert in Manchester on November 10 and she was persuaded to come and stay at a hotel. A decision that I am sure she will forever regret.
‘I note the observations in the pre-sentence report that you may well have interpreted her willingness to attend the concert as a hope for reconciliation.
‘It is clear that she had no intention whatsoever of reconciling with you. She was intent on forming a new relationship with another man.
‘As a result of that you became consumed by uncontrollable anger and a jealous rage, and you attacked her with murderous intent.’
While Ms Moxham is understood to have no memory of the assault, Judge Field added it was ‘clear’ that the former police officer had ‘gripped her throat and strangled her with such force over a significant period that her brain was starved of oxygen.’
Such were the extent of her injuries that Ms Moxham is reported to still be suffering from cognitive difficulties in the wake of the attack.
He is understood to have called his parents for 11 minutes after strangling Ms Moxham before eventually contacting emergency services to request an ambulance (Picture: X/Greater Manchester Police)
These include acute fatigue, diminished concentration, difficulties with her memory, and freqeunt headaches.
The judge added: ‘While I accept this was not a pre-meditated attack and you acted spontaneously, this was nevertheless a brutal and determined attempt to kill your former partner.’
Separated from the defendant by a screen, Ms Moxham read out her victim statement during proceedings on Friday.
She said: ‘Although I count myself as extremely fortunate that I cannot remember anything about that night, I frequently have terrifying nightmares in which I am being attacked, strangled and suffocated.
‘This has all fed into feelings of anxiety in my day-to-day life and a tendency to overthink.’
Ellie Moxham is said to have been left struggling with ‘cognitive difficulties’ as a result of her brain being starved of oxygen during the attack (Picture: Bruce Adams/Daily Mail)
Riley had initially been due to go to trial, only changing his plea to guilty a week before proceedings started.
Ms Moxham added in her statement: ’Instead of admitting what he had done and shown remorse, he has dragged this out for an entire year.
‘James destroyed my self-esteem by making derogatory comments about my looks. He said he was superior to me at everything and that I could do nothing right.
‘He became increasingly frustrated and angry at the slightest things. My character would be obliterated and it was always my fault.
‘He alienated me from myself. I think it will take a long time to respect me again.’
She went on: ‘In hindsight, his manipulation was so insidious. He was also a police officer, so you carry a certain level of trust that he will not cause you harm.
‘I don’t want to be defined by this. I hope today is closure and a chance to properly put all this behind me.’
David James, for the defendant, said: ‘Mr Riley knows he has let down everyone in his life. He knows he has let down the police force and his police colleagues.
‘Miss Moxham did nothing wrong. He knows she is entitled to pursue whatever life she wishes to. He is truly sorry.
‘He is dealing with the issues that he brought to bear in the relationship. He recognises the relationship did not have a future.’
In addition to his custodial sentence, Riley is also now subject to a restraining order prohibiting him from making contact with Ms Moxham or knowingly being within 50 metres of her.
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James Riley, 28, received a 16-year sentence at Manchester Crown Court on Friday.