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Prison for Hatfield man who used coercive and controlling behaviour

19 Jan 2021
  • A man has been sentenced to over four years imprisonment for coercive and controlling behaviour.

  • The victim has been supported by the Specialist Safeguarding Unit within the Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (DAISU).

  • If you are experiencing domestic abuse, call 0300 790 6772 for advice and support during week day office hours. In an emergency, call 999.

A woman from Hatfield subjected to sexual, physical, emotional and financial abuse has seen her perpetrator put behind bars.

Damon Whitcombe, age 37, of Goldings House in Hatfield was sentenced to four years and three months imprisonment after being found guilty of two counts of coercive and controlling behaviour and two counts of ABH at St Albans Crown Court last Monday (11 January). He was also given an indefinite restraining order.

The victim suffered four years of abuse from Whitcombe from 2016 which included sexual exploitation, physical assaults, emotional and financial abuse.

He was convicted of engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship between 29 December 2015 and 27 February 2020 and between 29 December 2015 and 27 February 2020. He was also convicted of actual bodily harm (ABH) on 30 January and 16 February, 2020.

The victim has been supported by the Specialist Safeguarding Unit within the Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (DAISU) which included assistance with benefits and housing as well as around the criminal justice process. Specialist Safeguarding Officer Lauren Shelley from DAISU said: “I want to commend the victim in this case for the tremendous amount of courage she has demonstrated in speaking out about the abuse she was experiencing. The victim had been subjected to horrific abuse over a number of years and despite police intervention on numerous occasions she never felt able to fully engage through fear. However, with the right support in place she was able to feel safe and engage with us.”

Detective Inspector Claire Richardson said: “Whitcombe showed no remorse and forced the victim to relive her experience during the trial. This was a great example of how ongoing support and trust between the police and the victim enabled her to break the cycle of abuse. She is now free to live her life without fear and without control.

“In Hertfordshire we are fortunate to have a significant amount of support available, working with a number of specialist partner agencies and I would urge anyone experiencing domestic abuse to seek help.”

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, call 0300 790 6772 for advice and support during week day office hours. In an emergency, call 999. If you are not able to speak, call 999 from a mobile and press 5 and 5. Help and support is also available from the Sunflower Centre (opens in a new window).

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