York man jailed after bombarding ex partner with abusive messages by text and social media
A York man has been jailed for controlling and coercive behaviour that damaged the health of his partner.
Samuel Joseph Spence, 21, of Acomb, began a six month relationship which became toxic very quickly, York Crown Court heard.
Speaking on a live link from prison, Spence admitted that he downloaded a tracker app onto his girlfriend’s mobile phone and he stopped her seeing her family.
Prosecutor Matthew Collins told the court that Spence was aggressive towards his partner in public, that he used her as a sex object and demeaned her in front of others.
The relationship ended after Spence’s girlfriend’s mother realised what was going on and told Spence to stay away from her daughter and their family.
However the then 20 year old managed to convince his ex partner that he had changed and the two reconciled.
Aggressive behaviour escalated
When his partner fell pregnant, Spence’s aggressive behaviour escalated. He bombarded his partner with messages on social media despite her mother again intervening and the relationship ending.
Police found two hundred messages sent in just 24 hours, some affectionate and minutes later, abusive.
Spence called his ex partner degrading sexual names and when she reported him to the police he sent this chilling threat: “If you don’t reply or drop this with the police, I will have to kill myself and everyone will find out it’s your fault.”
Spence’s victim became unwell and depressed and worried about continuing with her pregnancy.
Pre-sentence reports found the 21 year old to be immature for his age, said defence solicitor Caroline Abraham.
He had been affected by the domestic abuse inflicted on his mother by his father when he was a child.
Spence cared for his wheelchair-bound mother and his elderly grandmother, who would both miss out on his help.
He had been about to take up a national rail apprenticeship when he was arrested.
Spence was jailed for 22 months after being found guilty of controlling and coercive behaviour, and intimidating a witness.
He asked if he could claim his mobile phone back from the police, before beginning his prison term.