Man admits to coercive control against former partner
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A Northampton man who admitted repeatedly assaulting his former partner has also pleaded guilty to subjecting her to coercive and controlling behaviour.
Hayden Wykes, aged 27, was originally arrested by Northamptonshire Police in November 2020 after the woman bravely revealed that he had subjected her to multiple assaults and had been controlling what she did for around 18 months.
He was later charged with two counts of actual bodily harm, two counts of assault by beating and one count of engaging in controlling/coercive behaviour, relating to incidents which took place between July 2019 and February this year.
Having previously entered guilty pleas to the assault charges, Wykes was due to go to on trial for the coercive control count, but at a hearing at Northampton Crown Court on November 26 he finally admitted this as well.
His controlling behaviour had included checking the woman’s phone and social media, interrogating her about her contact with others, emotional abuse including belittling her, making repeated derogatory comments, telling her that she should kill herself and gaslighting her to make her doubt what was actually happening. He also prevented her from seeing friends and controlled her finances, dictating what she could spend or buy.
In addition to his coercive and controlling behaviour, his physical assaults on the woman included slapping her around the head so hard he burst her ear drum, pushing her down the stairs, grabbing her round the throat and throwing her to the floor, and beating her so violently that he fractured two of her ribs.
Investigating officer PC Gina Anderson, of the domestic abuse team at Northamptonshire Police, said: “The first time I met this woman, Wykes’ abuse had left her a shell of her former self, but I am pleased to say that due to her remarkable courage she has been able to rebuild herself and is thriving.
“She has been so strong throughout our investigation, and despite Wykes’ attempts to intimidate her by forcing the coercive control element to trial, she remained determined to see it through to the end and give evidence in court if needed. Her bravery has been inspirational, especially considering all she has been through, and I’m really proud of her, she is a true survivor.
“Tackling domestic abuse in all forms is a matter of priority for Northamptonshire Police. It is a horrendous thing to go through, but hopefully this case and result will help to show others who may be suffering that this kind of behaviour it is not normal or acceptable, it is a criminal offence and we can and will support you and do all we can to secure justice for you too.”
Wykes, of no fixed address, was remanded back into custody ahead of his sentencing at Northampton Crown Court on January 13, 2022.