Paul Rosso “controlled most aspects” of the downtrodden woman’s life, Leeds Crown Court was told, physically assaulting her if she did not comply with his strict rules.
He told the mother-of-four she was not permitted to wear leggings, tight tops, wear pink, was not allowed to put on lipstick or earrings and was only “allowed one hair style”, prosecutor Ayman Khokhar told the court.
Rosso would also bizarrely inspect her underwear, she was not allowed to take a bath alone, was only permitted to go out with his permission, controlled her social media accounts and on one occasion took her bank card to stop her spending her own money.
The pair had been in a relationship since June last year but came to a head on March 10 of this year, when he attacked her in public on Quarry Hill, Horbury. A motorist stopped and turned around when he saw the pair arguing. The woman was crying and her clothes were ripped.
She rang her mother and told her that Rosso had attacked her because she was wearing leggings. Mr Khokhar said it “was the straw that broke the camel’s back” after the police became involved and she confessed to his violent ways, saying she feared for her life.
She described the 37-year-old as angry and had regularly attacked her and left visible bruises. He previously punched her to the ribs, bent her finger backwards and pulled clumps of her hair out. He had also grabbed her by the jaw on one occasion, and had jabbed his finger in her ear and eye.
Following his arrest, he claimed during the incident on March 10 that she had tried to attack him with a knife and he grabbed it from her to protect himself, causing her clothes to rip. He denied any controlling behaviour or violence.
The father-of-two, of Back Lane, Middlestown, Wakefield, eventually admitted a charge of coercive and controlling behaviour, and two counts of assault by beating. He has two previous convictions for four offences, including violence – an incident outside a pub in which a member of the public intervened about Rosso’s behaviour towards a female.
Mitigating, Rukhshanda Hussain said: “He has spent seven months on remand and has had time to reflect. He recognises that he needs help. He is remorseful. He does not wish to minimise or excuse his behaviour.”
Judge Simon Phillips KC jailed Rosso for 27 months and gave him an indefinite-length restraining order to keep him away from the woman, telling him he “intended to humiliate and degrade” her.
He added: “You sought to control almost all aspects of her life. Your jealousy, in short, new few limits. She feared, at times, you would kill her.”
Speaking after the sentence, PC Becky Thompson, of Wakefield Adult Safeguarding Unit, said: “The victim has shown immense bravery in leaving this controlling relationship and reporting what has happened. The courage she has shown has assisted in convicting a violent offender.
“I hope that the result brought justice and provided reassurance to the complainant.”