Hemel man jailed for subjecting his partner to violence and control

John Gardner

A Hemel Hempstead man has been jailed after subjecting his partner to sustained abuse and control.

John Gardner, 33, of Treselian Square, pleaded guilty to the relatively new offence of coercive control. It is believed this is the first standalone conviction for this offence in Herts.

St Albans Crown Court heard how, over the course 
of a two-year relationship, Gardner abused, controlled and isolated his partner from friends and family.

He subjected her to repeated violence and called her vile and derogatory names on a daily basis.

All aspects of her life were controlled by him as he demanded to know where she was at all times.

Gardener insisted on 
having access to her social media and email accounts so he could check on her online activities.

His controlling behaviour meant she left work and became financially dependent on him and further in his control. He even managed to redirect money that was due to be paid to her into his own bank account.

Gardner allowed her to have a mobile phone but he made her delete the numbers of people he did not approve of and listened in on conversations.

He sentenced to 20 months in custody on Thursday (February 15), given an indefinite restraining order, and also handed a criminal behaviour order (CBO). This means he must disclose any future relationships to police, so that any partners can potentially be made aware of his past under the domestic abuse disclosure scheme.

Detective Sergeant Andrea Dalton said: “Gardner failed to see that there was anything wrong with his behaviour, despite the attempts to intervene from friends, family and even the police. He thought he was being caring. This sentence today shows how wrong he was and recognises the impact his actions have had on this partner. She can now rebuild her life free from abuse.”

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