Man guilty of coercive behaviour 'very lucky' to escape prison
- Credit: Submitted
A victim of coercive control said her former partner "turned their home into a prison".
Charlie Lock, 28, of Low Road in Woodbridge, Suffolk, was sentenced in Norwich Magistrates' Court on December 14 for coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship between July 1 and September 30 of this year in Norwich.
He had pleaded guilty on October 7.
Stacie Cossey, prosecuting, told the court Lock demanded the victim install a tracking app on her phone, isolated her from friends, threatened to harm himself if she went out and became aggressive when abusing alcohol and drugs.
The court heard the pair were in a relationship for five months, and that things "went downhill" when they moved in together.
On one occasion, when the victim saw a message from another woman on Lock's phone, she questioned him about it.
He then became aggressive, the court heard, causing "significant damage to her bathroom" and smashing her phone when she locked herself inside and tried to call police.
The next morning, when she tried to leave, Lock dragged her back to the house and put her in a headlock.
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In her impact statement, which was read aloud in court, the victim said he turned their home “into a prison” and "shattered her confidence".
She added: "I had warnings from his exes early on detailing similar ordeals and controlling behaviour, but to me he always made out he was the victim."
Richard Mann, mitigating, said it was a relatively short relationship and the couple moved in together quickly.
"He found out about her contacting rich men on the internet and got paranoid," he said, adding that he recognised Lock should have left the relationship at that point.
“He was struggling with his mental health, had invested a lot of money into the property and was working seven nights a week," he said.
"But he recognises the impact of his actions and is seeking counselling."
Chair of the bench Cathryn Dobson said Lock was “very lucky not to be going to prison”.
He was given a 24-month community order to address his coercive behaviour, a two-year restraining order, 150 hours of unpaid work and nine rehabilitation activities to address substance abuse and was ordered to pay £300 compensation.
The chair agreed two counts of criminal damage, which Lock pleaded guilty to, should be dealt with as a civil claim, because there were disputes over which items belonged to who.