Man followed partner to Dover Travelodge and strangled her 13 days before wedding

Man followed partner to Dover Travelodge and strangled her 13 days before wedding

A man who strangled his fiancée just two weeks before their wedding pleaded with a judge: “Don’t take me away from my wife!”

Michael Rivers-Simpson was “full of rage” when he attacked his partner at a Travelodge in Dover following a row about his excessive drinking.

Michael Rivers-Simpson is now married to his partner

Police were called and Rivers-Simpson was arrested and taken into custody, but just 13 days later the pair would still tie the knot.

And his new wife was at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court to support him as he narrowly avoided an immediate prison sentence after admitting intentional strangulation.

The 38-year-old thug begged to be spared jail, telling the district judge: “I love that girl. She’s my life. We are good at the moment – please do not take me away from her.”


Prosecutors told how Rivers-Simpson’s partner had travelled to the budget hotel in St James Street on December 16 last year for some “breathing space” after the pair had rowed about his alcohol abuse.

Rivers-Simpson, who has cirrhosis of the liver, followed her to the Travelodge, where the argument escalated and he was fined for smoking in the room.

Michael Rivers-Simpson followed his partner to Dover after she went to a hotel to get away from him

The couple then went to a nearby cafe to cool off, but continued to row until Rivers-Simpson’s fiancée went back to the hotel.

He later returned with four beers, and as his partner tried to reason with him he slapped her with his hand.

He then grabbed her around the throat – with his eyes full of rage – and started to put pressure on her neck, letting go seconds later when she shouted at him.

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He then began verbally abusing her before punching a wall and putting his fist through a TV – cutting his hand – and then kicked a mirror and smeared blood on the wall and a duvet.

His fiancée went to call police on her phone, but he snatched the mobile from her and dialled 999 himself.

Michael Rivers-Simpson admitted intentionally strangling his partner

He then left the hotel and was later found and arrested by officers in Folkestone.


Rivers-Simpson, of Honeybrook Road, Clapham, admitted intentional strangulation and criminal damage, and was sentenced last Tuesday (June 13).

He had been subject to a community order at the time of the offences, having been convicted of criminal damage and making threats to gain entry to a property in November 2022 following another row with his partner.

District Judge Barron decided to revoke the order and re-sentence Rivers-Simpson for all of the offences in November and December of last year together.

He decided the custody threshold had been passed, but suspended the prison sentence due to Rivers-Simpson’s limited criminal record and the fact he was now married to his partner, who was not a vulnerable victim and was in court supporting him.

The attack happened at the Travelodge hotel in Dover. Stock picture

The 38-week term was suspended for 18 months, with Rivers-Simpson ordered to complete a domestic violence programme and attend 30 rehabilitation sessions with probation.

He was also ordered to join an alcohol treatment programme for six months and pay £500 compensation to Travelodge.

  • June 24, 2023