Man jailed for 16 years for coercive control and sexual offences
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Two women have spoken out about the ordeals they endured as their abuser was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Laker Carter, aged 24 and of Stearman Walk in Brockworth, Gloucester was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 26 March) after he was unanimously found guilty following a four week trial.
As well as the prison sentence Laker Carter has been placed on the sex offenders register for life and is the subject of an indefinite restraining order to prevent any future contact with his victims and witnesses who were involved in the investigation.
The jury found Carter guilty of penetrative sexual activity with a child, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, sexual assault by penetration, engaging in controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship and witness intimidation in relation to Kalanie Perkins.
He was also found guilty of engaging in coercive or controlling behaviour in an intimate relationship, putting a person in fear of violence by harassment and intimidation in relation to Rebecca Golton.
He was also found guilty of possession of class A drugs.
During the trial, the jury heard how Carter had subjected two females to indescribable abuse after forging relationships with them.
Both of Carter's victims gave first-hand accounts of what they had been put through and in a victim impact statement read out in court, Kalanie Perkins detailed the impact that Carter's offending had on her saying: "I began my relationship with Laker when I was just 15 years old and he is the only boyfriend I have ever had.
"Looking back upon this relationship now; and looking at it from an outsider’s perspective; I can see why people may wonder why I stayed in a relationship with him. The honest answer is because I loved him.
"Without realising, my love for him turned to fear and over the years this fear took over me; I was too scared to speak out; I was too scared to ask for help and I was too scared to save my son from him.
"Instead I hid my bruises and I held my tears in. I truly believed that one day Laker Carter would kill me.
"During the relationship with Laker my emotional state was impacted significantly. Laker made me feel worthless, unwanted and like I wasn’t good enough for him or anyone else.
"The 8th of June 2019 is a very significant date for me, it was the day I became strong enough to leave. It is the day my relationship ended with Laker, the day I met the police and the beginning of a rollercoaster ride of trying to put my life back together."
Rebecca Golton said: "At the beginning the relationship was good, but as it progressed he quickly became violent and aggressive towards me. We were only together for five months, but in that time he has damaged me and has taken any self-confidence I did have away.
"Laker was physically abusive towards me and my property, smashing up things in my bedroom and pushing me, he grabbed the steering wheel whilst I was driving causing me to get extremely distressed. He would often threaten me with violence or just push me and this scared me.
"I also recall a time Laker put his hands around my throat but I can’t remember why, I think he was just angry with me.
"This has left me terrified of getting into future relationships or trusting anyone, as at the start this was a good relationship. I have never seen someone change so quickly and turn into an aggressive monster like I saw Laker do."
The Senior Investigating Officer in the case Detective Constable Faye Satchwell-Bennett: "These victims and their families have had part of their lives destroyed forever.
"I want to pay tribute to these two brave and inspiring survivors. Their strength and courage allowed them to tell their powerful stories and they were believed.
"Giving evidence in a courtroom can be hugely daunting and is a decision that can only be made by an individual.
"I just hope that victims of both domestic and sexual abuse feel more confident in coming forward in light of this case and can see that the criminal justice system can work for them.”
Investigating Officer PC Freya Smith said: "Carter continued his controlling behaviour and torment by taking the case to trial and forcing both victims to relive their ordeals in the true belief that he would get away with it.
"Carter taunted and videoed his victims and on one occasion victim A was struck repeatedly with a belt by Carter and cowered over their baby in fear to protect him."
His Honour Judge Peter Blair QC, the recorder of Bristol Crown Court praised Carter's victims for their bravery during this case and when passing sentenced commented that this was to prevent risk and protect other females from Carter.
He said: "I was astounded by the levels of selfishness and dominating behaviour that was shown by Carter and how he refused to take any ownership for his actions by making his victims go through the ordeal of a trial."
The Judge issued a commendation of excellence to the work of DC Faye Satchwell-Bennett and PC Freya Smith for their hard work and dedication in bringing Laker Carter to justice.
Prosecuting Barrister Sarah Regan said: "These types of offences, committed over a number of years, are especially difficult to prosecute because of the hold the defendant has over already vulnerable victims.
"In this case, it took great courage for the two victims to not only contact the police in the first place but to continue to engage with a prosecution.
"It is thanks to their enormous bravery and resilience that we were able to secure the convictions that we did, and the unanimous verdicts should reassure other victims that they are not alone."
Rachael Scott from the Crown Prosecution Service said: "In June 2019, a vulnerable victim of domestic abuse reported Laker Carter to the police. Due to the diligence of the investigation undertaken by Gloucestershire Constabulary, further more serious sexual assaults were uncovered which had not been revealed by the victim due to the violent controlling and coercive behaviour of the defendant .
"The defendant denied committing these violent and sadistic acts. The Crown Prosecution Service charged Carter with a series of serious sexual offences.
"Due to the bravery of the first victim another vulnerable and intimidated victim came forward. In relation to this victim the CPS also charged him with further assaults.
"Gloucestershire Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service will work tirelessly to ensure victims of domestic abuse and sexual offending are heard and that offenders will be prosecuted with the full force of the law."
Carter had also been charged with one count of escaping lawful custody and battery. The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on these counts.
Please note that Kalanie Perkins has chosen to waive her lifelong anonymity as the victim of a sexual offence under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992.