Conviction for ‘controlling and coercive behaviour’

Family Law|April 28th 2016

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has announced the conviction of a 21 year-old for ‘controlling or coercive’ behaviour.

The man received six months in prison at Liverpool Magistrates Court for breaching Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act, which came into force at the end of last year and made such behaviour  in an “intimate or family relationship” illegal for the first time.

The magistrates also imposed a two year restraining order on the man.

CPS Lawyer Karen Renshall said controlling behaviour can have a major “psychological and emotional” effect on victims, and that no one has the right to restrict another’s freedom.

“[The convicted man] controlled every aspect of his victim’s life. He prevented her from seeing her friends and questioned where she had been if she came in late. He stopped the victim from using her mobile phone and controlled her social media, such as making her delete friends on Facebook.”

Read more here.


Share This Post...


  1. stitchedup says:

    First example made… Surprisingly it’s a man!! Who would have thought? The clock is now ticking let’s see how long for a female to be convicted.,

  2. Jericho says:

    So, “No one has the right to restrict another’s freedom….” Right. Or to try to prevent, or at least discourage, your partner from having affairs, while still married to you. Or doesn’t that count??

    This may seem a facetious example, but there must be a very fine line between “controlling behaviour”, and anyone naturally wanting to protect their interests and security. The point is, of course, a decent wife would never give cause for her husband to worry that much. (Any more than a decent husband would provide reasons for his wife to be suspicious — and she doesn’t have to be “paranoid” to be sensibly concerned.)

    However, it is clear that a woman is eventually nowhere near as at risk as a man — because SHE is highly unlikely to be made to cough up a whole wadge of HER savings, if they divorce — when he eventually finds out that (by trying to play fair under “Section 76”, and not paying attention to what she appears to be doing) she has been having numerous affairs. Obviously not just putting the marriage at risk — but destroying it.

    Not that she must have cared much, if she was having one or more affairs. But wouldn’t his natural self-interest in preserving his marriage, under some circumstances, LOOK as if it were “controlling” behaviour? Go the other way, and show no interest or the mildest of suspicions, and his wife is apt to think he doesn’t care — and likely use THAT as an excuse to have the affair(s) that will indeed destroy the marriage.

    The really manipulative might well claim he is trying to prevent her “seeing her friends” — when in fact he knows if he doesn’t protest (try to “control” her behaviour?) she is just going to take advantage of his tolerance regarding her numerous “more-than-just-friends”.

    Where sort of “marriage” does he have then??

    If you ask me, a strict interpretation of Section 76 is not likely protect a marriage — it becomes a licence for the errant partner to destroy it.

  3. spinner says:

    I understand and support the basic motives for this law but knowing how I personally was treated by the courts I can see that in practise this is just a whole new set of ways to abuse men.

  4. Paul says:

    Absolutely, Spinner! I am of course totally opposed to DV against women — or men. I am also against injustice, while being FOR a strict balance of power. But it seems to me that this law, while laudable in it’s obvious intent, can well be abused — and that would usually be by a woman. Because, yes, man is the aggressor, men are stronger physically — and women, “therefore” tend to be believed more easily! BUT THAT MAY NOT ALWAYS BE RIGHT, OR JUST.

    I know of a case where the woman merely alleged her husband was “controlling” her (no proof offered) — while HE had evidence that was strongly suggestive of the notion that she was having affairs!

    So, was he supposed to just sit back — and turn a blind eye to her likely infidelity?! Since he married her, he obviously loved her, and wanted her “beside him” — not sharing her with someone else — or indeed with other blokeS.

    What was he supposed to do, when he had good reason to question why, for instance, she was often late home? Would a man get very far with alleging that his wife was “controlling” him? I doubt it. Because, when it comes to a contest, women “naturally” are believed over a man. And even if it is right 80% of the time, that still leaves a 20% “failure rate”, where the man is FALSELY ACCUSED. (Or to put it another way — incorrectly disbelieved.)

    The law has a long way to go, to “maturely” reflect the REALITIES. And the only way that it may, eventually, come to do that is if those who can SEE the injustices (which could well include “disinterested” women too!) protest and make the lawmakers AWARE of their over-simplifications, and casual “oversights”…..

Leave a Reply


Newsletter Sign Up

For all the latest news from Stowe Family law
please sign up for instant access today.

Privacy Policy