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Man who physically and mentally abused his girlfriend is jailed.

26 Mar 2018
  • Steven Gane physically and mentally abused his girlfriend before she took her own life.

  • He repeatedly told Kellie Sutton that she should take her own life.

  • Gane was found guilty by a jury of controlling and coercive behaviour, actual bodily harm and assault by beating.

  • He has been jailed for four years and three months and has been made subject of a Criminal Behaviour Order.

  • The judge told Gane that he had broken Kellie's spirit and had shown no sadness or regret.

 

A man who physically and mentally abused his girlfriend, before she went on to take her own life, has been sentenced to a total of four years and three months in prison.

Steven Gane, aged 31, of Gadesden Close in Upminster, was found guilty of controlling and coercive behaviour, actual bodily harm and one charge of assault by beating at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, March 23. He was cleared of a second charge of assault by beating.

Today (Monday, March 26) he was jailed and also made subject of a 10 year Criminal Behaviour Order, which means upon release from prison he must inform Hertfordshire Constabulary of any sexual relationship he has with a woman that last for 14 days or longer.

Judge Philip Grey told Gane: “Kellie was a much loved young woman who had the great misfortune of meeting you.

“You treated her as a meal ticket. You beat her and ground her down and broke her spirit.

“You’ve shown no evidence of sadness or regret and your behaviour clearly drove Kellie to hang herself that morning.”

Judge Grey praised the police investigation and said it led to the truth around what had happened to Kellie being discovered.

During a two week trial the court heard how 30 year old Kellie Sutton, from Welwyn Garden City, went from being a positive, lively and extroverted character to being anxious, quiet, subdued and increasingly isolated from her friends after becoming involved with Gane.

On the morning of August 23, 2017 – five months after Gane and Kellie’s relationship began – she attempted to take her own life. She was found by Gane at home unconscious and was taken to hospital by ambulance. Kellie, who is a mother to three children, never regained consciousness and life support was withdrawn on August 26.

In a statement Kellie’s family said: “Kellie was a daughter, a sister, a niece, a granddaughter, a great grand daughter and a mother. She was caring, funny, affectionate, bubbly and kind. She was a loyal friend - the kind of person who would go out of their way to help others. She could not bear to see anyone suffering and would put herself out to help anyone. She didn’t have a bad bone in her body.

“Her death has had a devastating impact on our family. Her three beautiful children will feel the impact of what has happened for their entire lives. They won’t have their mum as they grow up to turn to for support like children should. She won’t be there at those big milestones– birthdays, first day of school, weddings – the list could go on.

“Sitting through the trial of Steven Gane has been very difficult. We have heard a lot of things about Kellie’s life and the things that happened to her which have been painful to hear. What he did to her and how bad he made her feel breaks all of our hearts. She didn’t deserve to be treated like that – nobody does. He made her feel she was worthless, unloved and as if she was nothing. That could not be further from the truth.

“I know that no matter how long Steven Gane goes to prison for it will never be long enough for us. It will never reflect the impact his actions have had. We have lost someone irreplaceable and long after he is out of prison we shall still grieve her loss. He shall have Christmases, birthdays, Sunday dinners and all the other events of life with his family. We won’t ever have that and this is not fair.

“Kellie was a good person. We shall miss her forever and just wish this hadn’t happened and that she was still here with us. If anything good can come out of this we would hope that anyone reading Kellie’s story would be encouraged to come forward and get out of a bad relationship. There is help out there.”

Detective Inspector Sally Phillips from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (DAISU) said: “Over the course of a five month relationship Gane repeatedly assaulted Kellie, threatened violence towards her, humiliated her, isolated her from her family and friends and worst of all he repeatedly told Kelly to kill herself. Despite Kellie telling him the effect his abuse was having on her, he continued.

“Kellie’s story shows how domestic abuse devastates lives. Kellie’s three children have lost their mother and her family and friends have lost their loved one.

“Today’s sentencing has brought Gane to justice. It is also a milestone in the use of the new coercive and controlling legislation and highlights the significant harm this behaviour can cause.

“Kellie was unable to tell her story. However, despite her untimely death we were still able to prosecute Gane.

“I would like to thank everyone who supported this case and most importantly Kellie’s family and friends as without them this verdict would not have been achieved.

“Domestic abuse should not be tolerated. There is help and support available and I urge anyone who is affected by controlling or coercive behaviour or any other abuse to seek help and report it.”

If you or someone you know is being affected by domestic abuse, please visit www.hertssunflower.org or speak to someone from the Herts Domestic Abuse helpline in confidence for free help, advice and support on 08 088 088 088 (open weekdays 9am-9pm and weekends 9am-4pm). In an emergency situation, always call 999.


Steven Gane
Steven Gane

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