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Man behind viral dress 'that broke the Internet' sentenced to 4-and-a-half years jail for strangling his wife

Keir Johnston, the man behind the viral "dress that broke the internet" phenomenon, has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison for violently assaulting and strangling his wife, BBC reported.

Man behind viral dress 'that broke the Internet' sentenced to 4-and-a-half years jail for strangling his wife snt
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First Published Jun 7, 2024, 10:31 AM IST

Keir Johnston, the man behind the viral "dress that broke the internet" phenomenon, has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison for violently assaulting and strangling his wife, BBC reported.

In March 2022, the 39-year-old pinned his wife to the ground, choked her, and brandished a knife. Grace frantically sent messages to friends for help and eventually called 999, screaming, "My husband is trying to kill me." According to the Times, Johnston was heard making a threatening statement, saying, "Somebody is going to die."

This attack occurred seven years after the couple gained worldwide fame due to a dress worn by the mother of the bride at their wedding. In 2015, the dress became an internet sensation as people debated its color. Some saw it as black and blue, while others perceived it as white and gold. The dress was actually black and blue, with its appearance altered by the quality of the photo.

The couple had appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where they were gifted $10,000 and a trip to Grenada.

However, their private life told a different story. The High Court in Glasgow heard that Johnston had a history of abusing his wife. Prosecutor Chris Macintosh stated, "There is no permanent police presence on the island, and she was in a situation where she felt trapped."

Days before the assault, Grace defied her husband's demands by attending a job interview. The attack occurred after Johnston returned home from a pub, where he had been drinking. Last month, he pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife, causing her injury and endangering her life.

Lady Drummond told the High Court in Glasgow that Johnston strangled his wife for around 20 seconds. The judge said: "Initially she was able to scream. She feared for her life and believed you intended to kill her. You were very forceful. The strangling lasted about 20 seconds. She did not lose consciousness but felt very close to doing so."

Jailing him for four-and-a-half years, Judge Lady Drummond further added, ''In her victim impact statement, she went over the emotional and psychological on her from your behaviour. She suffers in various aspects of her life – emotionally, psychologically and financially. The impact of your actions will last forever. She cannot understand your lack of remorse or empathy towards her. I have taken account of all the information and considered the submission that the court can deal with this with community disposal. I am afraid the only appropriate sentence for a crime such as this is imprisonment.''

He is also prohibited from contacting or approaching his wife for the next 10 years.

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