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Man jailed for more than two-and-a-half years for coercive and controlling behaviour offences in Havant.

We wanted to highlight a recent court result to you.

A 30 year-old man from Waterlooville has been jailed for two-years and eight-months after admitting coercive and controlling behaviour offences against a woman in Havant.

Liam David Stratford of Avondale Road in Waterlooville admitted the following at Portsmouth Crown Court on 18 December 2023:

·       Engaging in controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship between November 30, 2022, and July 3, 2023.

·       Possession of an article with a blade or sharply pointed object in a public place.

·       Criminal damage.

·       Perverting the course of justice.

He was sentenced at the same court on Friday 2 February.

The 29 year-old victim contacted police on 9 July 2023 a week after she had decided to leave the relationship she was in. She reported that Stratford’s actions and behaviour had caused serious alarm and distress that amounted to coercive and controlling behaviour. This included: violence and threats of violence, demanding access to her phone, threatening self-harm, financial exploitation, isolation from friends, and monitoring her whereabouts.

In April 2023, following a verbal argument Stratford took the victim’s phone away and then took a knife from her kitchen and whilst holding it demanded that she take him to a shop. She drove her car to a petrol station in Cosham. During the journey, Stratford held the knife and pointed it at the victim whilst he was sat in the passenger seat. When he entered the shop he put the knife in his pocket.

When Stratford heard the charges against him, whilst in custody, he requested a phone call. A Detention Officer overheard Stratford requesting that the person he contacted should approach the victim to get her to drop the charges.

Officer in the case, DC Vivian Schram said: “The courage of this young woman to stand up to her abuser and report his coercive and controlling behaviour is a positive example that perpetrators will face serious consequences for their actions.

“The victim’s personal statement, delivered in court with immense strength and perseverance, had a profound impact on the proceedings. The 29 year-old victim expressed the ongoing emotional distress affecting not just herself, but also her family. She bravely detailed how controlling and coercive behaviour had become a distressing norm for her, admitting it took considerable effort to speak about her experiences of the past few months. She described feeling vulnerable and unsafe due to Stratford’s actions, detailing to such heightened anxiety that she struggles to even go out with her 3-year-old daughter. Her impact statement concluded with a heartfelt plea for Stratford to stop his harassment, allowing her the chance to move forward without the constant shadow of fear, wanting to rediscover the joys of life with her loved ones again.

“Domestic abuse perpetrators commit some of the worst offending imaginable, leaving lifelong physical and emotional scars on those affected.

“Our officers do not tolerate any form of it and we will do everything in our power to work with specialist support services to help victims.

“I want other people out there who are being abused and suffering in silence to please come to us and report it. We are here for you and will listen, but if you don’t want to speak to a police officer there are independent support services out there that can give you the help you need”.

For more information about how you can seek independent support, and the ways in which you can report domestic abuse, visit:  https://www.hampshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse/

You can also report abuse to police by calling 101. In the event of an emergency or if someone is in danger, dial 999.


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