Norwich court told victim lived in fear of jealous partner

Luke Elfleet left a man with a broken jaw after stamping on him

Gary Cook was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment after admitting controlling and coercive behaviour. - Credit: Archant

A woman was left “living in fear” during a turbulent relationship with a jealous partner.

Gary Cook, 27, would bombard his former partner with text messages and missed calls demanding to know where she was and who she was with if she was out.

Norwich Crown Court heard the case case came to light on September 12 last year when police were called after Cook kicked an internal door “off its hinges” following an argument.

Andrew Thompson, prosecuting, said the argument at her Dereham home heralded the end of the “turbulent” relationship.

The victim would tell police that during the course of the relationship with Cook, who she met in January 2020, “things started to go wrong” after he moved in with her.

She said matters “escalated” after she gave a lift to a male friend.

Mr Thompson said she no longer gave lifts to people after Cook's reaction to it had “been off the Richter scale”.

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The court heard how Cook’s behaviour had been controlling towards her.

Mr Thompson said he did not like it when she “didn’t wear a bra” and preferred her not to wear make up.

He would expect her to tell him what she was doing and who she was with and if she did not would “send her multiple messages”.

The victim said Cook’s behaviour, which she put down to jealousy, “impacted her social life”.

She had tried to split up with him but he would break down sobbing so they stayed together.

In an impact statement the victim described how she felt her “whole life had changed” and was left “living in fear and looking over my shoulder”.

She suffered from “panic attacks” and said it has also left her daughter anxious and fearful of something happening to her mother.

Cook, of Beech Court, Dereham, appeared for sentence on Tuesday having previously admitted controlling and coercive behaviour and criminal damage.

Sentencing him to 16 month’s imprisonment, Judge Andrew Shaw said Cook’s offending has had a “profound impact” on the victim and her daughter.

Gavin Cowe, mitigating, said the defendant accepted and acknowledged responsibility for his behaviour and the affect on the victim.

Cook was also made the subject of an indefinite restraining order prohibiting him contacting the victim directly or indirectly.

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