A man who used intimidation and violence to control every aspect of his partner’s life has been jailed for four and a half years.
Nigel Wolitter, 30, of Basford, was sentenced using a new law for engaging in controlling or coercive behaviour – which only came into force in December – when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 13 September 2016). He admitted the offence, along with two charges of causing actual bodily harm, putting a person in fear of violence and two charges of criminal damage.
The court also imposed a restraining order – banning him from making contact with the victim or her family for life.
In a statement in court, the victim said: “Nigel controlled every aspect of my life; from where I went, to what I wore, to what possessions he allowed me to own. I wasn’t a person, but an object to him. He undermined any confidence that I had to move away from him, and told me that he knew how to manipulate the legal system and Police into not being caught.”
The court was told Wolitter was arrested on June 13, 2016, after throwing a tin of white gloss paint over machinery at a business owned by a member of the victim’s family – causing thousands of pounds of damage – after the victim had refused his demands to give him £30 so he could buy cannabis.
A protracted investigation by officers at the Domestic Abuse and Investigation Team led to Wolitter being remanded into custody, and involved trawling through the 13-year relationship leading back into the West Yorkshire area.
The court was told Wolitter assaulted the victim on numerous occasions, causing actual bodily harm between June 2014 and April 2016. The victim kept a folder on her phone which contained dozens of pictures of injuries that Wolitter had caused over many months, including pen stab marks, the court heard.
Wolitter also caused damage to a car belonging to a member of the victim’s family by walking over the bonnet and roof, after a separate demand for money was refused on 1 December, 2015.
The Officer in the Case DC Chris Taylor, of Public Protection, said: “The victim was one of the bravest people that I have met throughout my policing career, especially as she attended the court and even faced him as he stood in the dock while the prosecutor summarised her harrowing experiences and the sentence was passed. The help and understanding from her family and friends, along with the support from Women’s Aid, has been invaluable in her changing her life and achieving the freedom that everyone deserves.
“Perpetrators of domestic abuse need to understand that even when their abusive behaviour is behind closed doors, it does not mean that they cannot be caught and receive the custodial sentences that Wolitter received yesterday. He will have time to think long and hard about how he had treated her in the past.”