Home » ‘Wannabe gangster’ with ‘small man syndrome’ strangles ex-girlfriend in front of toddler
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‘Wannabe gangster’ with ‘small man syndrome’ strangles ex-girlfriend in front of toddler

A SELF-STYLED “gangster” erupted into a jealous frenzy, strangling his former partner in front of her two-year-old daughter. Jack Brenan, also known as Jack Brennan, appeared in court supported by his new girlfriend, prompting the judge to question the judgment of anyone associating with a repeat domestic violence offender described as having “small man syndrome”.

According to Prosecutor Dean Pulling at Swansea Crown Court, the victim had dated Brenan from February 2023 until she ended the relationship approximately 11 months later due to “infidelity and jealous behaviour”. The situation escalated when Brenan, aged 26, discovered an old Tinder profile belonging to his ex, triggering a fit of rage. On January 30 this year, Brenan entered the victim’s Llanelli residence uninvited, shouting threats as he ascended the stairs toward her, while she was conversing with her brother on the phone.

Pulling recounted: “With a tight grip, he seized her by the throat and pressed his face close to hers, hurling insults and shoving her into the bathroom, causing her to collapse on the floor. He then flung money at her, demanding she purchase a replacement camera, referencing a previously damaged Ring doorbell. Despite her efforts to push him away, Brenan’s aggression persisted. The victim’s two-year-old daughter witnessed the ordeal from the landing, distraught and crying. The victim managed to place her child in a bedroom, but the defendant proceeded to kick the baby gate, heightening distress.”

Subsequently departing, Brenan’s absence was followed by the arrival of the victim’s brother, who had listened to the attack unfold over the phone. Upon entering the residence, he found his sister and niece visibly distressed, with the victim displaying red strangulation marks on her neck.

Regrettably, this was not an isolated incident. Brenan embarked on a campaign of harassment in the subsequent weeks, bombarding his ex with calls and messages, including threats to involve others in vandalism. Arrested on February 17, he received a domestic violence protection notice prohibiting contact with the victim, which he disregarded, resorting to further abusive messages threatening public humiliation and arson. Brenan’s aggression even extended to intimating harm against the victim’s family.

Charged with intentional strangulation, witness intimidation, and breaching bail, Brenan had faced additional charges that were later withdrawn, leading to his inadvertent release from remand due to a prison administrative error. Post-clarification of the mistake and instruction to surrender, Brenan evaded compliance by holidaying in the West Country, ultimately apprehended at a service station in the region.

Brenan, residing at Railway Place in Llanelli, admitted to strangulation, witness intimidation, and breaching bail, bearing a history of 41 previous offences predominantly encompassing driving violations, battery, and criminal damage against a former partner in 2019, which included menacing acts like knife placement and property damage.

Judge Geraint Walters scrutinised Brenan’s conduct, noting his pretensions towards gangsterism as immature bravado. “He postures as though feared, yet it’s mere bluster,” the judge remarked. “His disregard for authority and propensity for violence are emblematic of what I refer to as ‘small man syndrome’—a need to compensate with ostentation and aggression.”

Defence counsel David Singh acknowledged his client’s grim record, underscoring a necessary personal transformation. “He’s in a pivotal phase where he must mature and cease this behaviour,” Singh stated.

In delivering the sentence, Judge Walters admonished Brenan for his arrogance and sentenced him to a two-year imprisonment, accompanied by a ten-year restraining order prohibiting contact with the victim. The judge admonished Brenan’s misconception of his own significance and advised him to adopt a mature outlook, remarking on the absence of any appeal to women in his character.

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