Abusive boyfriend left his Wellingborough partner suffering PTSD after 18-month campaign of interrogation
The defendant admitted coercive control - and had previous history of the same offence with a previous partner
A man with a ten-year history of harassing women left his Wellingborough partner 'broken inside' with a shocking campaign of control.
The pair met in May 2018 when she was vulnerable after leaving a previous controlling relationship. Over the next 18 months he began controlling every aspect of her life.
Stuart Anderson, 52, formerly of Wellingborough and Northampton, admitted coercive control when he appeared for sentence at Northampton Crown Court on Thusday (April 8).
The court heard that a few weeks into their relationship he began to start arguments if his partner took more than 15 minutes to drop her daughter at her ex-partner's home.
When she took her children out he began to constantly ring her phone and text her to make her feel guilty.
Prosecuting, Phillip Plant, told the court: "The complainant stopped going out participating in activities with her children.
"His paranoid control extended to her collecting her children and taking them to the park after school. She had to keep him updated while at the park and if she turned up late, this ended in questions and suspicion from the defendant."
The court was told the victim began rushing home to avoid 'interrogation' by Anderson.
Mr Plant continued: "She started to avoid seeing her friends. He said she was having affairs with them and made reference to her previous relationship history. By January 2019 she was unable to use her phone in the house. He would accuse her of constantly being on the phone to other people."
The court heard there were 'voluminous' messages with the victim being called a 'nasty ****' by the defendant. ome of the messages read to Recorder William Davis displayed how Anderson would constantly harangue the victim when she messaged her daughter's father about their child. He also told her that he 'just f******* loved her so much.'
In September 2019 the victim finally plucked up the courage to leave but as she tried to do so, Anderson set fire to her clothes and began throwing them into the neighbour's garden. The victim then stayed with the defendant until another argument on October 2, when police were called to the house they were living in at the time.
In a moving victim impact statement read to the court, the victim said that she had been diagnosed with PTSD following the end of the relationship.
"This is linked to the abuse I suffered on a daily basis," she said.
"I am now taking medication and having regular counselling.. to move past this and help me rebuild my life."
She added that she had struggled to return to her home and was having flashbacks.
"I don't feel safe in my home," she said. "I feel someone is watching me. I have had cameras installed. I break down whenever someone raises their voice.
"I constantly relive what happened. It's a daily struggle to process it. It's affected my whole life.
"Before, I lived without fear. I lived a normal life, I had friends and went for coffee. My adult children don't talk to me now because they warned me about him and I didn't listen.
"I can't let anyone get close to me. I am broken inside and can't trust anyone."
At his first appearance before magistrates in 2019, Anderson was made subject to a non-molestation order. The court heard he had broken that order three times in the months after he had split from her and had served 32 weeks in prison for those breaches.
He also had seven previous convictions for 15 offences including harassment of a previous partner in 2011 and harassment and coercive control of another partner in 2017, for which he served a prison sentence. He had assault convictions from 1992 and 2008.
Mitigating, Thomas Parker, said: "I accept the concern of the court. But there's been a key change for Mr Anderson that was triggered by his most recent conviction. The time he spent in custody was the wake-up call that he seriously needed.
"It triggered reflection of his behaviour and once he was released in June 2020 he's had no further issues since then."
He said that the death of his mother had had a huge impact on his behaviour toward his partner and that he was now receiving help for his mental health. His probation officers had reported good engagement.
The sentencing range for this type of offence is between one year and four years in prison, with the opportunity to suspend the sentence if a judge sees fit.
Recorder William Davis said: "It appears you're engaging with the supervision which has been provided on your released from prison. You have told probation officers you're now motivated to address your behaviour and recognise the harm you have caused in the past. There remains significant risk against partners in the future."
He said he had taken Anderson's guilty plea into account as well as positive character references and his probation report. His sentence was reduced by 15 per cent for his guilty plea.
Sentencing Anderson to a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years, Recorder Davis added: "I am just persuaded that the best course is a suspended sentence.and my reason is that engagement that's been taking place between you and probation which appears to be bearing fruit."
He also ordered Anderson to complete the Building Better Relationships programme with said he must complete a rehabilitation requirement of 25 days. He was also given a four-month curfew from 9pm to 6am.
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