A Warwick man who controlled and manipulated a vulnerable neighbour, assaulting her and making her provide funds for his drinking, has been jailed.
David Huxley pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to using controlling and coercive behaviour towards the 41-year-old Warwick woman.
Huxley (48) of Raynsford Walk, Warwick, at the time, was jailed for two-and-a-half years and given a restraining order banning him from having any contact with his victim for ten years.
Prosecutor Richard McConaghy said that in 1999 the woman, who also lived in Raynsford Walk, suffered life-changing injuries, including a brain injury, in a road accident.
As a result, she is described as being vulnerable, and her GP refers to her as being ‘open to outside influences and manipulation.’
“Huxley lived in the same block of flats, and they became friends in the summer of last year, and it turned into something of a relationship, although it was more platonic than anything else.
“Following disclosures to her GP, a report was made to the adult safeguarding team, and she was referred to a refuge.
“When police went to see her, she was initially reluctant to speak to them. She said she had said she wouldn’t tell anyone what he had done to her.”
But gradually she began to disclose what had happened.
She told the police that she and Huxley had been friends, and that at first he had ‘seemed like the nicest bloke.’
But she then felt she was being used because he would drink heavily and expect her to provide the funds for his drinking ‘at his demand,’ and would also get her to pay for take-aways and for his tobacco.
She would regularly fund his trips to the pub and also be expected to fund his friends’ drinking, as well as lending him £2,700 in cash which was never repaid.
On one occasion, when she told him he had had too much to drink as they were walking to a shop after leaving a pub, he headbutted her and prodded her to her face with his finger.
Another time, he slapped her and held a burning cigarette to her face, and the following day he kicked her to the cheek.
Huxley also grabbed her by her arms and twisted her, knowing that would be particularly painful because of damage she had suffered to her back in the accident.
There were other incidents when he hit her with a mop, held a serrated knife to her ankle and close to her neck, knelt on her foot, and spat at her, as well as threatening to put her in a body bag and throw her into the canal, added Mr McConaghy.
Jailing Huxley, who has since moved to an address in Bristol, Judge Peter Cooke told him: “There are a number of aggravating features, your record and the steps you took in making threats of what you said you had done to others.
“The fact that many of these things were done in her own home, where she’s entitled to feel safe, is another aggravating feature.”
Following the sentencing,Detective Sergeant Collette O’Keefe from Warwickshire Police said: “We hope that this conviction demonstrates our commitment to victims of domestic abuse which so often takes place over a period of time prior to coming to the attention of police.
“The victim in this case has been extremely brave, and I’d like to thank her for her support throughout the investigation.
“I would also like to thank our partner agencies for bringing this case to our attention, and to Michael Rouse, our domestic abuse risk officer, who has worked closely with the victim and supported her throughout the investigation.”