A domestic abuser who stalked one ex-partner, breached a restraining order, and also coercively controlled his new girlfriend has been jailed. Timothy Smith, 48, began a relationship with his first victim in 2019 and almost immediately moved in with her.
However, just two months later, cracks began to show. Smith accused the woman of cheating on him, and the woman later described the relationship as “toxic”.
She explained how alcohol was a factor in Smith’s behaviour, and in early 2021 the woman ended the relationship.
Not content with this, Smith began to stalk the woman. He looked over her garden fences and windows at her Cambridge home, constantly called and texted her and turned up at a local pub he knew she would be in.
As a result of this behaviour, in January 2022 Smith was handed a two-year restraining order.
Despite this, Smith ignored the court order and between February and March 2023 Smith bombarded the woman with texts, Facebook requests and phone calls. He also visited her address – more than 10 miles from where he was living at the time.
At the same time as this behaviour Smith, of Ditton Fields, Cambridge, also coercively controlled his new partner.
For two years, between April 2021 and April this year, Smith’s second victim confided in officers that Smith was often violent after drinking – leading to an ongoing cycle of fear.
She said there were various triggers to his behaviour – for example if she was out or spoke to other people, Smith became paranoid and accused her of sleeping with other men.
The woman told police that she felt she had changed her behaviour and daily habits since being in a relationship with Smith, who wouldn’t let her exercise unaccompanied and would make comments about other men being able to look at her.
She explained her growing isolation since meeting Smith, who stopped her going out and socialising by demanding to constantly know where she was when she did so.
The woman told police she had even stopped speaking to members of her own family, developed low self-esteem and lost her confidence.
In March, when Smith believed that she looked at someone the wrong way, he grabbed her face by the jaw causing bruising.
Smith was arrested for offences against both women but in police interview, denied the crimes.
However, he later pleaded guilty to charges including stalking, breaching a restraining order, assault by beating and coercive control.
Smith was sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on Friday (1 December), where he was handed a total of two years and two months in prison.
Two restraining orders were made, both for 10 years, preventing Smith from contacting either of the two women in any way.
DC Neil Patrick, who investigated, said: “Smith’s behaviour towards both women was nothing short of horrific. He thought he could continue to make his ex-girlfriend’s life a misery, but he was wrong.
“Alongside this, and at the same time, he made another woman live in fear and change her hobbies and behaviour.
“Domestic abuse isn’t always just physical. Victims can also suffer from the threat and fear of injury, daily intimidation and having every aspect of their life monitored and controlled. Coercive control is a criminal offence, and we take all reports of it very seriously.
“I hope the sentence imposed provides both women with a sense of closure and gives Smith time to reflect on his actions.
“We would strongly urge anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse, including stalking or harassment, to contact us or call the national domestic violence helpline on 0808 2000 247.”
Cambridgeshire Constabulary is supporting the 16 days of Action campaign which calls to end violence against women and girls and will run until 10 December.
To report concerns or for more advice and support on domestic abuse, including coercive control, visit the force’s dedicated web page.