A barrister from Northampton has been given a suspended sentence of 18 months in prison after he admitted carrying out a campaign of harassment against his former partner.
Sanjay Roy, aged 31, physically and verbally abused his victim while they were in a relationship, controlling what she could do over a period of several months.
Nottingham Crown Court heard Roy, who works as a family lawyer in Northampton, met the victim in the USA and they began a relationship together.
Their relationship was initially amicable, but after a while he started exhibiting signs of controlling behaviour, which escalated into violence when the two were on a trip to Sierra Leone. Roy continued to abuse his victim in Northampton when she visited him, in the USA and even through messages.
After enduring the abuse for months, the victim finally reported what was happening to her. Roy was arrested and prosecuted.
Although some of the abuse took place in America and Africa and is therefore outside the jurisdiction of UK courts, these events were significant in proving the extent of the abuse the victim suffered, so were served on the court as evidence.
Roy, of Maiden Hall Road, Luton, finally pleaded guilty to putting a person in fear of violence by harassment following legal argument at the start of his trial at Nottingham Crown Court.
He has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years and a given a one-year supervision order. He was also issued with a restraining order and ordered to pay £2,000 costs.
Robby Singh, Crown Advocate at CPS East Midlands said: “As a barrister working in the family courts, Sanjay Roy would have seen for himself the devastating impact that domestic abuse has on victims, yet he still behaved in this way towards his own partner.”
Mr Singh said that it may appear startling that a professional who dealt with the victims of domestic abuse could act in such a way, but added that the case exhibits the fact that domestic abuse can and does occur across all walks of life.
He said: “What started out as a seemingly loving relationship led to horrible abuse, shattering the victim’s self-confidence. The evidence of Roy’s abuse included thousands of horrific and vitriolic messages, all with the aim of abusing and controlling his victim.
“She was made to refer to him as ‘master’ and she even had to hold her hand up to get permission to speak to him on video calls.
“As is often the case with this sort of abuse, he had exerted such control over her that she blamed herself. However, victims should not be afraid to come forward. This kind of coercive and controlling behaviour is now subject to new legislation to protect victims.”