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Businessman, 32, ‘tried to drown his NHS nurse girlfriend’ in bath when relationship broke down

Martial artist ‘tried to drown his lover in bath’: Businessman, 32, is accused of trying kill his NHS nurse girlfriend when their relationship collapsed during lockdown

  • Scott Richards, 32, is accused of holding Kathryn Rich’s head underwater in bath
  • It came after Ms Rich had finished her shift as hospital nurse amid the pandemic
  • The couple’s 11-year romance hit the rocks when lockdown started, jury was told
  • Richards closed his martial arts firm and Ms Rich was doing 12-hour night shifts
  • Richards, of Rhondda, Wales, denies actual bodily harm and assault by beating

A martial arts fanatic tried to drown his partner in the bath after their relationship fell apart during lockdown, a court heard yesterday.

Scott Richards, 32, is accused of holding nurse Kathryn Rich’s head underwater at their home after she finished a shift.

The couple’s 11-year relationship deteriorated at the start of the pandemic last year, the jury was told. Richards was forced to close his martial arts training company and Miss Rich was doing 12-hour night shifts at a busy NHS hospital.

Scott Richards (pictured), 32, Treherbert, Rhondda, Wales, is accused of holding Kathryn Rich’s head underwater in the bath at their home after she finished her shift as a nurse

The couple's 11-year romance hit the rocks when the national lockdown started last year, the jury was told. Richards was forced to close his martial arts training company and Ms Rich (pictured) - who is in her late 30s - was doing 12-hour night shifts at a busy NHS hospital

The couple’s 11-year romance hit the rocks when the national lockdown started last year, the jury was told. Richards was forced to close his martial arts training company and Ms Rich (pictured) – who is in her late 30s – was doing 12-hour night shifts at a busy NHS hospital

The alleged attempted drowning happened when 40-year-old Miss Rich was following NHS guidelines to have a bath after finishing her shift. Rosamund Rutter, prosecuting, said: ‘The defendant subjected his partner to a frightening and cruel act of violence, which may be partly due to the lockdown.

‘He pushed her head into the bath water and held it down. She could not breathe and desperately tried to pull her head back but the defendant had a firm grip.’

The court heard Miss Rich was ‘coughing and spluttering’ before Richards let go.

Miss Rutter said: ‘She rang the police to say her partner had tried to drown her. When she gave a statement she told them about a previous attack on March 24, the day after the national lockdown started.’

The court heard Richards had found a ‘personal note’ in Miss Rich’s handbag that made him suspect she had been unfaithful with a work colleague.

The court heard Ms Rich was 'coughing and spluttering', from being held under water for a few seconds before Richards let go (pictured together)

The court heard Ms Rich was ‘coughing and spluttering’, from being held under water for a few seconds before Richards let go (pictured together)

The discovery led to Richards, from Treherbert, Rhondda, South Wales, dragging his partner out of bed by her pyjama top, headbutting the bridge of her nose and pushing her against a door frame, the jury was told.

This incident was said to be more than a week prior to the alleged attempted drowning on April 4 last year. Photographs of her injuries, taken on Miss Rich’s mobile phone, were shown to Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court.

The newly-qualified mental health nurse said: ‘He [Richards] owns a martial arts business and he had to close it down and start classes over Zoom. Covid had started in January and I was doing six months of night shifts.’

Miss Rich said she had written a letter about her feelings towards her work colleague but their relationship was ‘just flirting’ and there was no affair.

She told the court: ‘I assume he thought I was having an affair with someone in work.’

Photographs of her injuries, taken on Ms Rich's mobile phone, were shown to Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court. Pictured: the couple together

Photographs of her injuries, taken on Ms Rich’s mobile phone, were shown to Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court. Pictured: the couple together

The alleged bathroom incident happened because Richards was unhappy that Miss Rich posted an emoji on the Facebook page of a male friend in fancy dress. She said: ‘Covid had just hit and we were told to have a bath and wash our uniforms when we got home from work.

‘The bath was run when Scott came upstairs and pushed me backwards with quite a lot of force. The bath was pretty full, he pushed my head and shoulders under water.

‘I couldn’t get out of the water, it was probably only seconds but it felt longer.

‘When he let go I couldn’t see, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t hear. I swallowed water, my clothing was soaked.’ Richards denies causing actual bodily harm and assault by beating. The trial continues.

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