'Vile' abuser threatened to slit partner's throat
- Credit: POLICE
“I am a completely different person now. I find myself looking over my shoulder all the time.”
These are the words of a domestic abuse survivor who suffered months of abuse at the hands of Geoffrey Pearce.
The 38-year-old former Haddenham man was sentenced to 15 years in prison after threatening to slit his partner's throat.
Pearce was reported to police in January last year following a string of violent attacks against his then partner, a woman in her 30s.
Their relationship began in October 2019 but things quickly deteriorated when Pearce became abusive.
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One month in, Pearce celebrated his birthday by drinking and smoking with the victim at their home in Haddenham.
As the day went on, he started insulting the woman by making negative comments about her parenting.
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The situation escalated when Pearce grabbed a knife from the kitchen and threatened to stab her before repeatedly headbutting and punching her.
The victim made an attempt to escape through the front door but he stopped her and forced her to stay while spitting on her.
After hours of abuse, Pearce eventually calmed down and said he was “testing” her.
The abuse against the woman continued for the next few months and, on 14 December, Pearce woke her up in the middle of the night by pulling and slapping her and making accusations she had cheated on him.
On 9 January, Pearce looked through the victim's laptop and became angry when he saw another man's name.
He again grabbed a knife and told the woman he would stab and slit her throat before strangling, punching and spitting at her.
The following day, Pearce told the victim he wanted to go away and drove them both to a family member’s home in Waltham Abbey, Essex.
When the victim told him she did not want to stay there anymore, he said she was “not going anywhere” and held up a knife while threatening to "skin" her.
The next day, Pearce told the victim he would take her to McDonalds but instead drove her to a secluded woodland area.
He demanded she get out the car and made threats that no one could hear or see her before walking her further into the woods.
Pearce told her he would split her skull open with a log and continued to intimidate her before eventually driving her back to the address.
When they got back inside the property, Pearce made the woman a tea and told her it would send her to sleep “very soon” and that she would “wake up in a hole buried alive”.
The victim stayed awake the whole night in fear of what Pearce would do but the next day she managed to escape in the middle of the night and contact police after Pearce got drunk and fell asleep.
The woman was supported by specialist officers and disclosed months of physical and emotional abuse.
Pearce, of Bradley Road, Waltham Abbey, was arrested the following day and found in possession of cannabis.
He was charged with a number of offences and was remanded to prison where he continued to call the victim and try to persuade her to withdraw her report against him.
Pearce denied charges but was subsequently found guilty of two counts of false imprisonment, threats to kill, possession of cannabis, four counts of common assault, two counts of actual bodily harm and perverting the course of justice following an eight-day trial at Cambridge Crown Court.
He was sentenced at the same court on Thursday (27 May).
In a statement, the victim said: “I am a completely different person now. I find myself looking over my shoulder all the time no matter where I am or what time of day it is.
"I become restless and worried at night. I’m scared by the slightest noises and find it difficult to get to sleep.
“I no longer have trust in anyone except my family. He has manipulated me so much that I have no idea how I will ever trust someone else again.
“I used to think that if you’re in an abusive relationship you should just leave, but until you are in that situation yourself you don’t realise how hard it is.
“In truth I never thought much of the police before all this but I now have total respect for them and I want others to know that they are there to help.
“I have peace of mind knowing he is in prison and I would tell anyone in an abusive relationship to go to police and they will protect you, or just let someone know.
“DC Adams has stayed in contact with me the whole time and has been great.”
DC Thomas Adams, who investigated, said: "An innocent woman endured months of horrific abuse at the hands of this man.
"Pearce's behaviour was vile and I am pleased he now faces a lengthy time behind bars for the harm and torment he inflicted upon the victim.
"I would like to commend the victim for her bravery in speaking out and I hope this case shows the commitment of the force and courts to tackling all forms of domestic abuse.
“I’d like to encourage anyone who may be suffering from any form of abuse to reach out for support. We will take your report seriously and do all we can to bring offenders to justice.
"No one should have to live with abuse and we will continue to do all we can to protect those who are suffering and take action against offenders."