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A man who violently assaulted his ex-partner and controlled her every move has been jailed for 7 years and 6 months.
The victim has said that she hopes telling her story will encourage others to come forward and escape their abuser.
David Kemp, 44, of Hillside Terrace, Braintree, dated the victim for 6 months.
Although he initially appeared charming, kind and caring, over time he embedded himself into the victim’s life and began a campaign of coercive, controlling behaviour.
Kemp placed a tracking app on his ex-partner’s mobile phone and asked for regular updates on her location. If he didn’t hear from her immediately, he would call repeatedly, often hundreds of times, to demand an answer.
Kemp also took control of his ex-partner’s finances, using the money she earned as his own. On one occasion, he drove the victim to an ATM and pressured her to transfer savings into his bank account. The victim pretended to do so, but when Kemp was unable to withdraw the money as cash and did not see the money enter his account, he became increasingly aggressive.
Fearing for her life, the victim fled the car and ran across a nearby field. Kemp chased her, physically assaulted her and dragged her back to the vehicle. He then threatened her and said that if she ever tried to escape him again, he would “bury her alive”.
On a second occasion, the victim tried to escape Kemp’s control by leaving a hotel in the early hours of the morning. Whilst attempting to leave in her own car, Kemp attacked her and stole the vehicle, leaving her stranded.
After the victim bravely reported her ordeal and thanks to the hard work of the Domestic Abuse Investigation Team, Kemp was charged.
He pleaded guilty to kidnap, coercive and controlling behaviour, and threats to kill at Chelmsford Crown Court on August 5.
On Tuesday 21st December, he was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in prison at the same court. He was also deemed a dangerous offender and was issued with a restraining order.
Domestic Abuse Investigation Officer DC Jonathan Straight, the investigating officer on the case, said:
“Kemp’s treatment of his ex-partner, someone he claimed to love and care for, was nothing short of horrifying.
“Her life was made a complete misery at his hands.
“As a means of control, Kemp tried to convince his ex-partner that if she were to report her ordeal to the police, she wouldn’t be believed.
“If this is something you’re being told by your partner, relative or anyone that is abusing or attempting to control you, it is simply not true. We take all reports of this nature seriously, we will listen, and we are here for you.
“I’d like to thank the victim for their bravery throughout this investigation and I hope that this sends a clear message: it is simply not acceptable for anyone to treat another person this way and you will be caught.”
The victim, who does not wish to be identified, has thanked the investigation team for supporting her and for helping put her abuser behind bars. She hopes that by sharing her story, she can highlight potential warning signs for others and let them know that they’re not alone.
If you, or someone you know, may be suffering from abuse, stalking or harassment, please report it.
If you need to speak with us urgently but fear someone may overhear, call 999 and press 55 when instructed to do so. This will alert the operator that you’re in a dangerous situation and need help.
If you’re concerned by your partner’s behaviour, Clare’s Law also allows people who think they may have a violent partner to request information about them.
Further information can be found here and if it will help you stay safe, please clear your search history afterwards.
If you are a victim of violence, or know someone who is, you can seek support and find community resources by visiting the SETDAB website.