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‘Insidious’ bully poured beer over woman and made ‘hideous’ accusations about her

James Brown was sentenced at Warrington Magistrates' Court
James Brown was sentenced at Warrington Magistrates' Court

A BULLY who poured beer over his former partner while she slept has been told that his actions towards her were ‘insidious’.

James Brown admitted that he acted in a controlling and coercive manner towards her over a period of more than two years.

The 33-year-old was also told that the accusations he made about her were ‘hideous’, but he was spared being sent to prison immediately.

The defendant was charged with engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour, and he appeared to be sentenced at Warrington Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, November 15.

Shannen Carey, prosecuting, explained how the behaviour took place between January 1, 2020, and May 31 this year, with the victim stating that Brown ‘manipulated, degraded and mistreated’ her.

The pair moved in together in 2020, and she noticed that he became jealous when she got on well with other men.

He accused her of cheating on him and checked her phone when she was asleep, leading to her giving her phone to someone else so he could not check it.

When she left the house. Brown would call her constantly, and while he would promise her that he would change when confronted, he would then threaten to kill himself.

She lost touch with friends as a result of his behaviour, and when she did go out he made her take photos of herself.

The defendant would also make plans for times when she already had plans so she would have to cancel them to be with him.

During the period, he would make comments about her weight, make her change clothes if he did not approve and would bombard her with messages when she was out.

Other examples of his behaviour included locking the door so she could not get in if she returned too late, as well as turning up at her place of work and accusing her of cheating when she got home.

The court heard how she would also wake up covered in beer, which he said was accidental as he dropped it when falling asleep, but she feels was deliberate.

It was also heard that Brown’s behaviour led the woman to contemplate suicide during the ‘prolonged period of offending which caused psychological harm’.

In defence of Brown, Peter Green referenced his client’s lack of any previous convictions and the credit he should be afforded for his guilty plea.

He also said that immediately imprisoning the dad, who has shown remorse, would have an impact on his child.

“The case has crossed the custody threshold, and the decision for the court is if it must impose immediate custody or a suspended sentence,” he said.

“He has enrolled in counselling of his own volition, after the lord mayor’s show I know, but it is a step to address his issues voluntarily.

“The probation service feels it can work with him to address his issues, most notably issues relating to trust and relationships.

“I ask the court to pull back from an immediate custodial sentence and suspend it.

Before sentencing, district judge John McGarva said: “This is a very serious offence and it went on for a long time, over two years.

“Your behaviour was insidious, and it involved checking her phone at night to check she was not cheating. You made hideous accusations about her and said awful things to her.

“Beer was poured on her, whether intentional or not I do not know, but it would have made her feel awful.”

While concluding that his behaviour had a ‘significant psychological effect’ on the woman, judge McGarva drew back from immediate custody due to Brown’s previous good character, guilty plea and probation being able to work with him.

Brown, of Reynolds Street in Latchford, was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison suspended for 24 months.

He must also complete 35 rehabilitation activity requirement days, including the building better relationships programme, and 100 hours of unpaid work.

In addition, he was told he must pay £120 in court costs and a surcharge to fund victim services of £95.

The court also approved a restraining order prohibiting the defendant from contacting the victim or entering a named Warrington street for two years.