He threatened her with knives, smashed up her home and strangled her to force an apology - jail for the abuser who terrified Cambridge woman
- Credit: Archant
A man who subjected his ex-partner in Cambridge to nearly a year of domestic abuse and coercive behaviour has been jailed.
Reece Haynes, of Sunnyside Road, in Hitchin, threatened the woman daily, including with knives, smashed up her house and strangled her to make her apologise.
The 26 year old was given a five-year restraining order preventing him from contacting his ex-partner on 20 October, 2017.
Despite this, between February and December last year, Haynes threatened, attacked and terrified the woman, who lived in Cambridge.
The abuse began in early 2018 when Haynes sent his ex-partner a friend request on Facebook, followed by a private message and then a text.
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In February he turned up at her home and never left, Cambridge Crown Court heard.
Haynes immediately took control of the spare house key and threatened to smash the door down if she changed the locks.
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He would stay most weeks but left at weekends. Each time he stayed at the house, the woman wasn’t allowed to leave unless he gave her permission.
Police were never called because the victim was so terrified.
On one occasion in the spring of last year, the woman called her friend in desperation to come and pick her up but Haynes then threatened to assault her friend.
He grabbed his ex-partner by her ponytail, threw her onto the bed and strangled her until she apologised.
In June last year the victim and her friend said they were going out to buy some food but Haynes threatened to stab them both if they left the house, armed himself with a kitchen knife and hid the car keys.
One month later Haynes left the woman’s house for three or four weeks, but would regularly call her and issue threats, telling her he had someone watching the house.
After this time Haynes called the woman and asked her to meet him at Cambridge train station.
He then started using her bank card without permission until she was forced to hide it.
On Bonfire Night Haynes threw a firework at his ex-partner, her child and her friend.
An argument began and the woman locked Haynes out of her house, but he grabbed a garden chair and bashed it against the front door.
Haynes was let in but he grabbed a knife and twice slapped the woman hard around the head. He also poked her leg with the knife, but this did not draw blood.
In November last year the woman was slapped to the face by Haynes, again because she asked him to leave her house.
The victim told police Haynes threatened to seriously hurt her and her friends and family on a daily basis.
At one stage, when the woman told Haynes she no longer loved him, he ripped a door off its hinges and smashed a glass chopping board while she was out buying milk.
When she got home and asked him to leave, he ripped her bedroom door from its hinges and then left.
Haynes returned on 23 November, the court heard, letting himself in with the door key he had stolen and creeping into bed with the woman.
The next morning he left, driving a Ford Focus which was registered to him despite not having a full driving licence or insurance. He was pulled over by police and charged with these offences.
On the same day, the woman realised her bank card had been taken by Haynes, who later messaged her telling her to ‘prepare for the madness’.
The victim reported this to police and Haynes was arrested. On his arrest, he was seen by police to hide cannabis under the sofa.
Haynes denied all the offences but accepted often driving cars without a license or insurance because he ‘doesn’t like walking’.
When asked about his relationship with his victim, he told police he hadn’t seen her since 2017.
At Cambridge Crown Court yesterday (23 January), Haynes pleaded guilty to coercive and controlling behaviour, possession of a class B drug, breaching a restraining order and driving a car without a license or insurance.
He was sentenced to three years in prison and was also disqualified from driving for two years.
Haynes was handed a new restraining order, lasting for five years and with the condition not to contact his victim.
DC Luke Whatford said: “Haynes subjected his ex-partner to nearly a year of terror. No person should have to suffer this kind of abuse and I would like to applaud her bravery in coming forwards.
“We are committed to tackling domestic abuse, which is a force priority.
“Additionally, we recognise not all victims of domestic violence suffer physical injury, they suffer from the threat and fear of injury, daily intimidation and having every aspect of their life monitored and controlled.
Controlling behaviour is a criminal offence and we take all reports of it very seriously.
“We would strongly urge anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse to contact police on 101 or call the national domestic violence helpline on 0808 2000 247.”
For more advice and support on domestic abuse, visit www.cambs.police.uk/information-and-services/Domestic-abuse/Domestic-abuse.