Thug who 'waterboarded' his girlfriend could be home for Christmas

Abusive thug who has clocked up 88 offences in 16 years – including attacking his mother and ‘waterboarding’ his terrified girlfriend – could be home for Christmas after he told a judge he was a ‘changed man’

An abusive thug who has clocked up 88 offences during a 16-year criminal career could be home again for Christmas – after he told a judge that he was a ‘changed man’.

Controlling brute Christopher Kirby, 32, ‘waterboarded’ his girlfriend Francesca Davies under a running bath tap during a terrifying beating at her home, a court was told.

Miss Davies was knocked unconscious and left at the foot of her stairs with a fractured left eye socket after she had earlier inadvertently locked Kirby out of her property following a night out. 

Former personal trainer Kirby has an extensive record of domestic violence against various women, including Miss Davies as well as his vulnerable mother, dating back to 2009.  Most recently, he was locked up 18 months in 2021 when he assaulted Miss Davies and wrecked her flat during a rampage. 

At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, Kirby, from Hall i’ th’ Wood, Bolton, faced a lengthy stint in jail after admitting causing Miss Davies grievous bodily harm and criminal damage to her property.

But although he was locked up for 27 months, he will spend just three more weeks behind bars as he has already served 13 months in custody. He will be eligible for parole on December 15 – the day before his 33rd birthday. The maximum sentence he could have faced for GBH was five years jail, although a three year stretch was suggested by prosecutors under sentencing guidelines.

During the hearing, Kirby insisted he was ‘remorseful,’ blamed an abusive childhood for his violent behaviour and said he had ADHD. He said whilst being held on remand he had undergone therapy and completed various rehabilitation and anger management courses.

Christopher Kirby, 32, was arrested after he was accused of ‘waterboarding’ his terrified girlfriend

Christopher Kirby, 32, clocked up 88 offences during a 16 year criminal career – including attacking his mother

Kirby had clocked up a ‘truly appalling’ criminal record since getting an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) aged 16 in 2007 for bringing misery to the Hall i’ th’ Wood estate for two years by terrorising bus drivers, drinking on the street, harassing passers-by outside shops and tearing through the streets of the estate on off-road motorbikes.

In 2009 he was twice convicted of causing GBH in 2009 and was later convicted of burglary after threatening a babysitter holding as child during a night-time raid. He had other convictions for battery in 2012, breach of a restraining order and assault in 2014 after he fractured another victim’s skull in a vicious kicking.

In 2016 Kirby was found guilty of controlling and coercive behaviour towards his mother who has a muscle wasting disease then in 2017 was convicted of assault and battery after he punched another girlfriend to the face demanded she return from work, smashed up her house and burst into her property to assault her.

In 2019 whilst an inmate at Forest Bank jail, Kirby grabbed a prison officer by the neck and punched him in the face and was subsequently convicted of malicious communications after threatening to burn down someones home.

He started dating Miss Davies but in January 2021 he stabbed and slashed the victim and smashed TVs, overturned furniture, destroyed her glass dining table, pulled down curtain rails, kicked off all the spindles on the bannister and broke plates and made in the walls before making off in her Audi A3 car.

Later that year he appeared before a different judge and pleaded: ‘I don’t know what I can do to get the help that’s needed. I’ve been crying out for it for years now.’ But he then stormed out of his video link room when a judge said he had no option but to lock him up.

The latest incident occurred on September 25 last year after Kirby had rekindled his four year relationship with Miss Davies following his release from jail a few months earlier.

Former personal trainer Christopher Kirby had an extensive record of domestic violence against various women

Christopher Kirby, 32, may be released from prison for Christmas after he told a judge he was a ‘changed man’

Mr Saul Brody, prosecuting, said: ‘They had gone out socialising together but Miss Davies returned home alone. When she went to bed she forgot to leave the door unlocked for the defendant to be able to get in and she woke up to see text messages from him saying he was upset at being locked out

‘Miss Davies actually packed her bags so that she could leave such was her fear that there would be some sort of temper outburst when he did return, She went back to sleep, but was woken up by the sound of her front door being kicked in.

‘She knew it was the defendant and she hid behind a clothes rail in her bedroom before texting her aunt saying: ‘Ring 999 to mine quick, I’m hiding. Please be quick. hes kicked the door in.’ She was clearly in a state of some fear and she was right to be afraid too.

‘The defendant gained access to the house went upstairs and found Miss Davies hiding. He dragged her from her hiding place by her hair, and then proceeded to punch her several times to the head. She tried to cover her face with her hands but one of the punches caused a laceration which bled over her eyebrow.

‘She went to the bathroom to clean her face but the defendant followed her holding her phone upon which he had seen the text she had sen to her aunt. He was by this stage very angry and he gripped her by the neck and held her head under a running bath tap.

‘She described her panic at this and her efforts to get away from the water running over her face. She said she felt as though she was being suffocated as the water ran over her nose and mouth. The defendant relaxed his grip briefly but then forced her head back under water a few more times.

‘She managed to get away and ran downstairs in a bid to escape into the street but the defendant caught up with her at the front door where he struck her again and at this point she believes she lost consciousness. It was prolonged and sustained assault not least due to the element of suffocation. That treatment of her almost amounted to waterboarding her under the bath tap.’

Police arrived at the blood spattered property after being alerted by the victim’s aunt and also worried neighbours who heard Miss Davies screaming for help. She was found partially dressed and dazed behind the front door.

Kirby ran off, but took Miss Davies’ phone with him and used it to contact her aunt demanding to know where the victim was. he also threatened to harm her family and said: ‘She had better not tell police or all hell will break loose.’

Kirby was later detained after a public appeal was issued for his whereabouts. He made no comment in police interview. Miss Davies also suffered cuts and bruising to her head, neck and body and suffered black eyes. She initially gave a statement to police but subsequently retracted it claiming she wanted to ‘move on.’

Kirby admitted attacking Miss Davies but insisted he had not ‘waterboarding’ or suffocated her during the incident. A statement said Miss Davies no longer supported the suggestion she was ‘waterboarded.’

A picture of Christopher Kirby from 2018 as he may be released from prison for Christmas despite clocking up 88 offences

A picture of Christopher Kirby at the age of 16 when he got an ASBO. He has since clocked up 88 offences

 In a plea from his video room Kirby said: ‘I know I have been involved in domestic offences in the past few years but I was subject to a lot of abuse and violence as a young child which I know for a fact is affecting me later on in life. I accept I have a terrible record of which I am ashamed of but does this mean I can’t change personally?’

He added: ‘I believe My motivation to change is well and truly evident and this is the one time I ask for mercy. My end goal is to live a stable and healthy life and to be at peace with the world. I’m tired of being in prison. I’m being genuine.’

In mitigation, defence counsel Mr Mike Johnson said: ‘His remorse his genuine and evident by the steps he had taken to address his offending behaviour and his history of violence. He has acknowledged this is a feature of him personally that needs to be addressed. He has began a journey away from the damaged early years and the rubble and chaos of his life.’

Sentencing, Mr Recorder Geoff Lowe told Kirby: ‘There have been almost annual appearances before the court over last few year.

‘But you have taken steps to address your underlying issues and made efforts to improve yourself and that is a significant feature of this case.

‘You say you’re genuine about wanting a change in direction, I hope you are right. But it’s very much in your hands. It’s up to you to sort this out yourself.’

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