July 20th, 2018
A Fine Arts graduate has become the first woman to be convicted of ‘coercive control’ since the offence was created in 2015.
The woman from Hertfordshire was arrested days after her boyfriend was taken to hospital with extensive injuries after she had thrown boiling water over him. Neighbours had reported hearing shouting at the couple’s home and the sound of objects being thrown. The Telegraph reported that her partner was seen with black eyes, a limp and his arm in a sling.
Her boyfriend suffered from a condition called hydrocephalus, which causes an abnormal build-up of fluid in the brain leaving him physically vulnerable. During her trial at Luton Crown Court, it emerged that the aspiring teacher had also routinely belittled him, taken over his Facebook account and insisted that he break off contact with friends and family, only allowed him to wear certain clothes and sleep in a separate bed for months at a time.
The Serious Crime Act 2015 made non-physical abuse of a partner – threats, intimidation, excessive interference – a potential crime for the first time. It came into force at the end of 2015 and the following April a 21 year-old man became one of the first in the UK to be convicted.
The woman received a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to wounding with intent, grievous bodily harm with intent and controlling or coercive behaviour.
His Honour Judge Madge explained:
“She accepts that she has in the past, on a number of occasions, used blunt objects and implements to strike him and that he suffered injuries as a result of her doing so. She accepts using boiling or hot water to cause injury to him. She accepts that she has in the past used a knife to cause injury to her partner.”
As an additional form of protection, the Court imposed a restraining order forbidding her from contacting her ex-partner.
Stacey qualified as a Solicitor in 2011 having completed her training with Hine Solicitors in Beaconsfield. Stacey has since worked for the Legal 500 firm, Duncan Lewis Solicitors in London. Stacey has extensive experience in all areas of family law including advising clients in relation to co-habitation, divorce, matrimonial finances, pre & post-nuptial agreements. Stacey was delighted to join specialist practice Hawkins Family Law (The Legal 500 2015 recommends the team as “exemplary”) in February 2016 and has considerable experience resolving children issues whether they are in relation to where a child should live or issues regarding contact.
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