A control freak who demanded his partner show him evidence of where she had been so he could trace her movements has been jailed. John Sharples, 54, of Thornhill Place, Longstanton, near Cambridge, told his girlfriend to produce paper trails of bus tickets and receipts so he knew her every move.
Throughout their relationship, Sharples would continuously ask the victim where she was, who she was with and how she had got there.
And, after going through her evidence to explain where she had been and for how long, he would question any discrepancies.
Sharples would also follow the victim to the shops to see exactly where she was going and, if she wanted to visit friends, he would insist on taking her and waiting outside until she had finished.
The victim felt if she didn’t prove her whereabouts, he would be unfaithful with other women, and he would often call her crazy and laugh at her.
And because he would constantly want to know who she was talking to on the phone, Sharples made it difficult for the victim to remain in contact with anyone.
At one point, the victim changed her friend’s name in her phone to “NHS notification”, to try to stop him looking at her text messages.
On 5 May 2021, the victim falsely told Sharples she had an appointment at her child’s school, so she could go and visit a friend.
But while she was out, Sharples bombarded her with calls and texts and when she returned home, he was very angry and marched her to the school to prove the appointment had taken place.
However, when the person he wanted to speak to wasn’t there, Sharples became aggressive towards the victim and staff, prompting the school to contact the police.
On the first day of his trial in August, Sharples changed his plea to guilty to engaging in coercive/controlling behaviour and was handed a 14-month jail sentence on Thursday (9 November) at Cambridge Crown Court.
Detective Constable Jess Davey said: “This case highlights that coercive and controlling behaviour is a criminal offence and will not be tolerated.
“This type of domestic abuse can have a huge impact on victims: they can suffer from the threat and fear of injury, daily intimidation and having every aspect of their life monitored and controlled.
“We would strongly urge anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse to contact police or call the national domestic violence helpline on 0808 2000 247.”
To report concerns or for more advice and support on domestic abuse, including coercive control, visit Cambridgeshire police force’s dedicated web page.
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