Christopher Holland, a 34-year-old resident of Mill Lane, Littlehampton, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for a disturbing assault and sexual offenses. Holland faced charges related to intentional strangulation, causing actual bodily harm (ABH), and engaging in coercive/controlling behavior stemming from a brutal attack in November 2022.
The incident prompted a swift police response after neighbors in Brighton reported a woman screaming for help in the early hours of Saturday, November 26. Upon arriving at the scene, officers discovered the victim, a woman in her 40s, who had sustained significant injuries during a prolonged assault that spanned over 90 minutes. The victim feared for her life during this vicious attack.
Holland attempted to evade capture by leaping from a second-story window and fleeing the scene as officers forced their way into the property. However, he was arrested within 24 hours as a manhunt ensued.
Initially charged with intentional strangulation, ABH, and coercive/controlling behavior, Holland remained in custody since November 28, 2022. On February 9, at Hove Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to all three offenses.
During the period leading up to his sentencing, Holland faced additional charges related to a violent sexual assault in August 2022. Subsequently, he was charged with sexual assault by penetration, a conviction secured by a jury at Lewes Crown Court on November 8.
In a court hearing on January 5, Holland received a 15-year prison sentence and an indefinite restraining order against his victim. This sentencing reflects the gravity of his actions and the impact on the victim.
n a victim impact statement read out in court, Holland’s victim described the impact of his abuse.
“In the immediate aftermath, I was too scared to be in my house alone. Even though I knew that Chris was in prison, I kept thinking he was coming through the door for me. If I heard his ringtone or saw a red car that looked like his, panic would set in, and I would get anxious.
“Following the attack, my self-confidence was gone. During the assault, Chris pulled out so much of my hair that I was basically bald on the lower half of my head.
“My hair was pulled out so viciously that the hospital said it was gone at the root and would take a long time to grow back as a result. My head was swollen and painful.”
Detective Constable Jess Gwynn said: “Domestic violence devastates lives, from the physical impacts of assaults to the long-lasting, psychological trauma that victims carry with them once they are free of their abuser.
“Christopher Holland very quickly tried to control every aspect of his victim’s life, reaching a head with an appalling, prolonged attack that could have had tragic consequences if not for the quick-thinking of neighbours to call the police.
“Thanks to them, and the bravery of this young woman to support the investigation through to prosecution, a dangerous individual is now behind bars.
“If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, please know the help is out there. Contact police online or via 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.”