Man jailed for coercive and controlling behaviour and GBH
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A woman who found the courage to speak to police about an abusive relationship after her shouts and cries for help were heard by neighbours has been commended for her bravery.
The victim was subjected to coercive and controlling behaviour over a two-year period by 33-year-old Ezron Needham, who also broke her arm in one attack.
He has now been jailed for five years and also been handed an indefinite restraining order to protect the victim, a woman who he physically and emotionally abused, leaving her in fear for her life.
The prosecution barrister, Mr Kannan Siva, told the jury during a six-day trial how Needham began abusing the victim shortly after their relationship began. He would repeatedly hit her, once with a metal pole, punch her and head-butted her leaving her physically and psychologically harmed.
On one occasion he delayed her attendance for medical treatment to prevent him being detected for assaulting her.
The jury at Gloucester Crown Court heard how he bullied her, undermined and controlled her and on one occasion Needham forced the victim to clean up the blood on her head after he beat her.
Needham, of Bismillah Buildings, Constitutional Hill, Birmingham abused the vulnerable victim, and she had persuaded herself that she needed to be with him, resulting in her becoming isolated from her friends and family.
On Monday 13 September he was unanimously found guilty of grievous bodily harm and engaging in coercive and controlling behaviour.
The officer in the case, DS Faye Satchwell-Bennett, commended the victim for her strength and bravery.
She said: "This was a case where the victim was subjected to indescribable physical and emotional abuse over a significant period of time.
"After neighbours heard her cries for help one day, she gained the strength to fight back and reported Needham to the police.
"When someone is in an abusive relationship, they sometimes don't realise that how they are being treated isn't normal, or when they become isolated they feel like they have no options available to them in order to reach out for help.
"Please do not suffer in silence, coercive and controlling behaviour isn't love, it’s a crime. I would urge anyone who feels they are suffering in similar circumstances to please reach out to someone - whether that is a friend who can report on your behalf, speaking to police or a partner support agency.
"The victim has shown immense courage throughout, and I also wish to thank all of the witnesses that came forward to support the victim and who had witnessed Needham's cruel and humiliating acts of violence towards her. I hope the victim can now start to rebuild her life and move forward feeling safe, knowing he can no longer hurt her."
Needham was jailed for five years and given an indefinite restraining order to help protect the victim and members of her family, as well as prevent any future contact with her.
In his closing speech the prosecution barrister described Needham as a "violent" and "cowardly man", and commended the victim for her immense fortitude and for battling her mental health concerns and significant anxiety to come to court.
The victim also read a statement in court, part of this said: "I stand here today; fearful but brave, scared but strong, uncomfortable but thankful… I wish for this court today to hear my pain and not allow this man to have the chance for another girl to be stood here today like I am.
"I now pray to god to feel loved again, pretty again, beautiful again and to get my life back."
The victim also thanked DS Satchwell-Bennett and support worker Alison Cowmeadow. The victim said: "The support I've received from them both throughout all of this, from the start of the police investigation and through the court process, has given me the courage to finally get justice for myself."
She added: "You both should be very proud of the job role you're in and how brilliant and professional you both are at it. From the bottom of my heart, I could not have done it without either of you, so thank you on behalf of myself, my family and all the victims like me that you help."
The Judge, Mr Recorder Langdon QC, when passing sentence observed how the victim had become stronger and did not accept the defendant's version of events, that he was trying to stop her harming herself.
He stated that he was sure the defendant was using violence towards her on a regular and intermittent basis, humiliating and degrading her, and took her phone and bank card to restrict her liberty. He stated that the impact on the victim was clearly going to be long-lasting and serious.
Recorder Langdon QC also commended the police and partner agencies for their diligent and hard work on getting the case to trial and bringing Needham to justice.
Domestic abuse isn't just physical. It can be psychological, emotional, financial and sexual too.