A furious bride-to-be beat, strangled and threatened to kill her transgender partner after a petty row over a forthcoming MoT test on their car.
Helen Balshaw, 32, a qualified beauty therapist, is facing prison today for the vicious assaults on former lover Delilah Adams, 38, a website designer.
The violent incident began as the couple lay in bed waiting for a Costa coffee delivery at their Bolton, Greater Manchester, home.
Ms Adams tried to appease Balshaw by going outside to fix a mechanical problem with the car, according to Manchester Magistrates Court, when a struggle ensued between the two.
During the assault, Balshaw grabbed Ms Adams by the neck and tried to choke her before repeatedly hitting her in the face while the victim was trying to restrain her in a’reverse bear hug.’ Ms Adams, who has since broken off the couple’s engagement, was said to have suffered bruising and scratches in the incident and was left in shock.
Balshaw was found guilty of assault and intentional strangulation after forcing her ex-fiance to testify against her.
If she is committed to crown court for sentencing, she could face up to five years in prison.
During the hearing, she attempted to blame Ms Adams for the assault, claiming that the victim had a ‘oestrogen imbalance’ as a result of ‘intermittent’ hormone treatment use.
The couple had met an LGBTQ event at the Star and Garter pub in Bolton in 2021 and later they became engaged before the September last year.
Ben Ramsey prosecuting said: ‘An argument between the pair started over the complainant’s apparent lack of respect for the defendant and the fact that her car needed repairs and a new MOT.
‘The complainant then left the bedroom and went outside to carry out repairs on the car. When she was back inside the defendant came down the stairs, reached for her neck and strangled her. The complainant managed to push her away and restrained her momentarily in a reverse bear hug.
‘The defendant then rotated and used a closed fist to hit the complaint in the face a number of times.
‘Although this incident caused minor bruising and scratches at the time, neither party was left with lasting injuries.
‘After the incident, the complainant exited her property out of the front door and called Greater Manchester Police before returning to the car.’
Ms Adams told the hearing: ‘I was just enjoying spending time with her when she suddenly went off on one. I don’t know why but she said that I was not helpful and that I did not respect her.
‘She asked me why the car wasn’t fixed and she said that people were asking her why it hasn’t been fixed. So I decided to go outside and fix it. If something needs doing I like to act on it straight away.
‘I went downstairs to get my tools but she then came downstairs and was still going off on one. I came back inside from fixing the car and went into the lounge and stood by the settee. She came towards me and reached for my neck with her right hand and strangled me. This all freaked me out a bit.
‘I then shoved her away from me onto the setee but she threatened me along the lines of “I’m going to kill you.”
She came back towards me, I thought she was trying to attack me again so I put her in a reverse bear hug.
‘She pivoted around when in my arms and hit me a few times in the back of the head. She used a closed fist. I am not a violent person.
‘When Helen tried to attack me I stated that if I wanted to hurt her I could but I’m not that type of person. She was the aggressive one in the relationship.’
‘I was taking oestrogen gel at the time but then started taking it more intermittently as we were trying to start a family.
‘When I started taking less this led to an imbalance but did not mean that I experienced anger management issues.
‘The whole incident shocked me. I still suffer from depression, anxiety and agoraphobia.’
Balshaw was in her bedroom applying makeup when police arrived.
She claimed Ms Adams was the aggressor because of an imbalance caused by her failure to take the oestrogen gels required for her gender reassignment procedure. She also claimed the victim had left her ‘fearing for her life,’ citing scientific studies that appear to show this imbalance leads to ‘irascibility.’
‘I have long said that she did not care about me as much as I did for her,’ Balshaw told the court. I would constantly deposit funds into her account and purchase items for her.
‘I gave her everything, and I began to suspect she was only using me for financial gain.
‘Delilah has the male parts of a guy and she was acting a bit of a psycho at the time. She kept the spanner in her hand throughout the incident.
‘It felt intimidating. I did hit her but I feared for my life and was trying to help myself.
‘After the incident, she called the police and then came up to give me a cuddle but I wasn’t talking to her.’
Earlier a PC who arrested Balshaw said in a statement: ‘When I arrived, Ms Balshaw was not properly dressed to be taken in so I asked her to get dressed in her room.
‘We waited outside the bedroom for a while as she got ready, but we became suspicious that she was taking too long and entered the room to see her applying makeup and hurriedly placing items in a black bin bag. She was clearly evading and attempting to stall the arrest.’
‘This was a one-on-one case, so it essentially comes down to who I believe out of you two,’ District Judge Bernard Begley told Balshaw.
‘I found the victim’s evidence to be much more credible and consistent. Your submissions, on the other hand, were overly labored and inconsistent.’
In March, she will be sentenced.