Man becomes first Briton to have to tell police every time he starts a relationship

Harriet Agerholm
Kylle Godfrey: Metropolitan Police Service

A man jailed for carrying out a "sustained campaign" of domestic violence against a former partner has been ordered to inform police each time he starts a new relationship.

The Criminal Behaviour Order requires 30-year-old Kylle Godfrey to tell the police of any relationship that lasts more than 14 days for the next seven years.

Godfrey, from Neasden in north-west London, is serving a three-year sentence for attacking two former partners and for witness intimidation.

The directive also allows police to inform his partners of his previous violent behaviour to women under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme.

Women's rights advocates welcomed the order, saying the police power had been underused. Criminal Behaviour Orders were first signed into law when Theresa May was Home Secretary in 2014.

It is believed that this is the first time in England and Wales that such a requirement has formed part of this type of order.

The court heard that Godfrey attacked a victim over a period of several days in October, at one point strangling her and banging her head against the floor, inflicting blunt force trauma injuries.

He then continued to intimidate her while on bail and assaulted another women he was in a relationship with, the court was told.

The order was made last week after Godfrey admitted the assaults during a court hearing on 14 February.

His victim, Shira, who did not wish to disclose her full name, told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme on Wednesday the abuse started shortly after they met in 2011.

She said: “I went through hell with him physically, mentally and emotionally, and now I can see I risked my life with him," adding that the order made her feel safer.

It follows the handing of a Sexual Risk Order to John O'Neill, from York, who was required to inform the police if he started a sexual relationship with a new partner.

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said: “We welcome the order being used in relation to domestic abuse for the first time," adding that it showed "an understanding that a perpetrator of domestic abuse is likely to be abusive to many partners".

Ms Neate said the ability of the police to tell Godrey's future partners about his history provided "more robust safeguarding" and said "progress" was being made.

Yet critics have warned the rule may be difficult to police. Ms Neate added: "We want to see it being properly enforced to make sure that women are kept safe, and that breaches are responded to promptly.”

Emma Pearmaine, Director of Family Services at Simpson Millar, who campaigns against domestic violence, said the orders had "sadly been underused, despite the fact that they provide a valuable layer of protection for potential, future victims".

“We regularly represent victims in applications for non-molestation orders, and we advise victims of domestic abuse and coercive control that is happening right now. But our help and support is limited to the circumstances of a particular relationship.

"We can only implement protections for that individual victim, and seek punishment against their perpetrator for the harm caused in that relationship, even though history tells us that many abusers live in a pattern of repeat offending.

“A criminal behaviour order identifies repeated and persistent perpetrators — offering a valuable warning for potential, future victims."

DI Jane Topping, Hackney Community Safety Unit said: “This order gives us a new way of protecting victims of domestic abuse and prevent other women from suffering at the hands of people like Godfrey, and help our efforts to tackle domestic violence.

"The victim in Godfrey’s case was subjected to a horrendous ordeal by him following a sustained campaign of domestic violence. She has shown incredible bravery in supporting our investigation, and I hope she feels safer now Godfrey is behind bars and will be subject to closer scrutiny.”