Man threatened to 'rip wife's head off' in secret recordings of abuse

Craig Watson abused his wife for nearly a decade
Craig Watson abused his wife for nearly a decade -Credit:Cambridgeshire Constabulary

A Cambridge man was caught threatening to rip his wife's head off in secret recordings of abuse inflicted on her. Craig Watson, of Coldhams Lane, Cambridge, made his victim's life a misery for almost a decade by repeatedly beating and verbally abusing her.

The 42-year-old's campaign of abuse came to light after officers were called to his home following a vicious attack on December 7 last year. After Watson was arrested, the victim told officers he had abused her since 2014.

She handed over a series of audio clips she had gathered as part of an escape plan. These included a recording from that evening's incident where Watson could be heard threatening to "rip [her] head off", and her screaming in pain while he beat her.

In other audio clips made in the months leading up to his arrest, Watson could be heard admitting to abuse, and saying he should be in a police cell". He also said: "I hit you, but we are working through it."

On one occasion last year, the victim tried to end the relationship, but Watson attacked her and told her she was not allowed to move out and she wouldn’t survive without him. There were other documented incidents where Watson spat at her, called her vile names, pulled her hair, ridiculed her job, and told her what she ate was "his food".

Watson appeared at Peterborough Magistrates' Court, sitting as a crown court, on Monday (April 29). He was sentenced to two years and two months in prison, after pleading guilty to common assault and engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour.

DC Alex Galan-Tarachiu, who investigated, said: "First of all I would like to commend the victim for her bravery and putting her trust in us. I hope the guilty pleas and sentence will help allow her to begin to move on following years of abuse.

"This case highlights that coercive and controlling behaviour is a criminal offence and will not be tolerated. This type of domestic abuse can have a huge impact on victims: they can suffer from the threat and fear of injury, daily intimidation and having every aspect of their life monitored and controlled.

"We would strongly urge anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse to contact police or call the national domestic violence helpline on 0808 2000 247."

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