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Married mum of four, Lindsey Cowell, supported a police prosecution of actual bodily harm and the breach of a non-molestation order against her husband, only for the Court to allow him to walk free.

Lindsey had been married to her husband John Cowell for three years, during which she sustained a series of assaults. These included having a used nappy wiped in her face and having her rings ripped from her fingers.

Lindsey wants others to know exactly what happened to her and said “For me the controlling behaviour was the worst thing, not being allowed to go out and do anything.”

The offence of Coercive control became effective on the 29th December 2015 and it allows the Police to prosecute offenders who psychologically and emotionally abuse their partners.

Coercive control takes many forms of manipulation and control. It creates a sense of fear and intimidation in others and overtime can lead to the dependence on a perpetrator; leaving a person isolated with little ability to seek help.

Unfortunately for Lindsey the abuse escalated and on the 8th January 2018, Lindsey sustained the most serious physical attack by her husband. He grabbed her by the arm, punched her to the head using his fists and pulled her by her hair towards the chip fryer. This sustained and brutal attack left Lindsey with bruising across her entire body.

The Judge heard details of John Cowell’s sustained and brutal attack against his wife and he made a guilty plea to both offences.

The Court imposed a 15 month sentence and allowed for this to be suspended for 18 months. The Judge also ordered that two further counts of coercive and controlling behaviour and one further assault, to lie on his file.

Judge Simon Medland QC told John Cowell “You behaved in a completely unacceptable, frightening and violent way.”

The Judge imposed an 18 day rehabilitation requirement, restraining order and £2,000 compensation for the victim.

Lindsey said “I have been let down by the justice system. I’m absolutely gutted he has fooled his way free, leaving me broken-hearted with four children to care for.” She added “People ask why victims don’t report everything that happens to them. It’s because they feel they won’t be believed or that it won’t be taken seriously.”

Changes in the law since July 2007, now mean that a breach of a Non-Molestation Order will always be an arrestable offence.

To discuss how our Family team can help you and your children become safe from domestic abuse now and in the future, please call us on 08000 147720, send us an email or text LAW to 67777 to book a free information session at any of our offices. We also offer early morning and late evening appointments across our offices.