Man sentenced for rapes and controlling and coercive behaviour
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A man who was found guilty of two rapes, controlling and coercive behaviour, assault and intimidating a witness has today (Wednesday 22 November) been sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison.
Benjamin Timmins, 35 and from Lydney, was convicted at the beginning of September following a two-week trial at Gloucester Crown Court.
At an earlier hearing, Timmins had pleaded guilty to offences of perverting the course of justice and possessing cannabis.
Timmins refused to attend court for sentencing.
He will have to serve at least two-thirds of his sentence before being eligible for release under licence. He will be placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and will be subject to a three-year supervision order on release from prison.
Timmins initially used a false name when he met the victim as he was wanted by police. He went on to coercively control the victim and would take money from her bank account with the promise he would pay her back. If she questioned him, he would accuse her of not being able to do simple maths.
Timmins assaulted the victim by placing her in a choke hold, causing her to lose consciousness. He raped her on two occasions, telling her he would burn her house down if she ever ‘snitched’ on him.
As a result of noting a change in the victim, her friends became very concerned that the defendant posed a significant risk to her and came up with a safe phrase the victim could use if she was in immediate danger so that they would know to call the police.
They subsequently booked a works meeting with the victim to offer their support and following this, police were informed and Timmins was arrested.
Despite being remanded in custody, Timmins continued to try to manipulate and intimidate the victim, sending her letters from prison, threatening her that she would only be in trouble if she ‘snitched’.
Detective Constable Emma Jackson, who was given a commendation by His Honour Judge Lawrie for her work on the case, said: “The victim has been so courageous in coming forward and supporting this case from the on-set of the investigation through the criminal justice process to its conclusion today. She has described, in very honest detail, the impact that this horrific offending has had on her.
“She has shown incredible strength and bravery and has received acknowledgment for what she was subjected to and I hope she can now begin to rebuild her life.
“I would also like to acknowledge the victim’s friends who recognised what was happening to her, took positive action and have shown immense support to her throughout the process.
“Timmins has shown no remorse for his offending against her, refusing to attend sentencing, and has continued to try and intimidate her to prevent him being brought to justice.
“The offending against this victim was incredibly serious, which has been recognised by the Courts today.
“Coercive control is a relatively new criminal offence but one that we take extremely seriously. It can be subtle, pervasive and hugely degrading, damaging the emotional and physical wellbeing of a victim.
“We encourage everyone to be aware of it and look out for it, whether in your own relationship, or the relationships of family or friends.
“If you recognise the signs, please call us or seek help from a third party like Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Assault Clinic.”
Robert Readfern, the prosecuting lawyer from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “The victim really should be commended for her bravery in not only reporting the case but seeing it through to the end despite her clear fear of repercussions.
“Her determination and courage has really allowed justice to be done.”
Signs of coercive control:
Coercive control can include: – Isolating a person from their friends and family – Taking control over aspects of their everyday life, such as where they go, who they can see, what to wear and when they can sleep – Enforcing rules and activity which humiliate, degrade or dehumanise – Financial abuse including control of finances – Threats of violence, threats to take children away or threats to hurt pets if the person does not do as their partner tell them – Monitoring a person’s activities, including their communication on the phone or internet – Repeatedly putting a person down and making them feel worthless (This list is not exhaustive)