‘Abusive’ man jailed after sending intimate pictures of ex-girlfriend to her new partner

·3-min read
Anthony Ward admitting sharing intimate images of his ex-partner with her brother-in-law and new boyfriend (swns)
Anthony Ward admitting sharing intimate images of his ex-partner with her brother-in-law and new boyfriend (swns)

An "abusive" man who admitted to widely sharing an intimate photo of his ex-girlfriend has been jailed.

Anthony Ward, 40, was jailed for nine months after pleading guilty to two counts of disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how Ward's victim "lived in fear" of what he might do to her.

Ward sent an intimate image of the woman to her brother-in-law and current boyfriend, and told her: “There’s f*** all you can do about it”.

He also held some "financial control" over her, the court heard.

Ward, of St Helens, Merseyside, also admitted to another charge of causing criminal damage to the front door of the victim's house.

A victim impact personal statement from the victim was read out in court. In it she said she "lived in fear" of Ward, who had a previous conviction for criminal damage in 2016.

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Prosecutor Jo Maxwell said: “[The victim] refers to the previous charge and says 'he never did learn from that, the abuse never stopped, it carried on.

"She lived in fear and stopped speaking to members of her family.

"She said in regards to the photograph sent to her new partner 'this has brought great shame and upset to everyone involved’.

“She was told by the defendant that lots of people have seen it and ‘there's f*** all you can do about it’.”

During the sentencing hearing the judge - Recorder Ford QC - said: "She is to be commended for her bravery in reporting this matter to the police and standing up to you, a bully."

Maxwell told the court Ward's relationship with his ex-girlfriend had ended in July 2019 but that he continued to phone and text her “in an effort to rekindle the relationship".

The court was told the woman's relationship with Ward, with whom she has a four-year-old boy, was "abusive" and that he was "controlling and demeaning" of her.

A general view of Liverpool Crown Court where Barry Bennell is due to stand trial over a string of child sex allegations. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Anthony Ward was jailed for nine months at Liverpool Crown Court (Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)

On 15 September 2019 Ward texted her and then attended her address and "started kicking and banging on the door".

Maxwell said: "During the relationship, the complainant did consent to a photograph being taken which can be rightly described as a sexual photograph.

"Ward continually threatened to send the picture to members of the complainant's family."

She said Ward sent the image to his victim's brother-in-law and on 22 January 2020 to her current boyfriend.

She added: "That time the message also included threats to circulate the image.”

The court heard Ward had three previous convictions, including for criminal damage in 2016 to the same victim.

Recorder Ford told Ward: "The nature of your own bullying conduct is exacerbated by the fact that you forced your way first into the house, damaging the door.

"You did so in the presence of your child. I'm aware of how distressed that child was as a result.

“That seems to me an aggravating feature of this case as is your previous conviction in September 2016 which I am told involved very similar behaviour against the same victim.

"In short, you have continued in an appalling fashion, your behaviour has been abusive, demeaning and controlling.

"She became isolated from her family and to coerce her you exerted some financial control over her."

Ward was given two concurrent eight-month sentences for the two counts of disclosing the image and a further one month consecutive for the criminal damage.

He was also given a 10-year restraining order.

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