Tendring: Victim of domestic assault praises officer after abuser jailed
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A victim of domestic violence has praised the specialist detectives who brought her abuser to justice.
Officers working with our Domestic Abuse Investigations Team worked around the clock to deliver justice for the victim of 32-year-old Ben Barnsley.
Barnsley, of Ronald Road, Halstead, launched an attack on a woman at a property in Tendring in January this year.
After shouting abuse, he threw items at her, including a welly and a hoover, which struck the victim to her head.
When she went upstairs to check herself over for injuries, Barnsley pushed her onto a bed and put his hands on her neck, applying pressure and restricting her breathing for several seconds.
After she managed to break free, Barnsley proceeded to throw a pint glass at her, which struck her and smashed, cutting her hands.
Barnsley fled the address when his victim dialled 999.
She was left with cuts, a bruise below her eye and a bruise on her neck.
We arrested Barnsley the following day on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
In interview, he denied assaulting the victim, even when confronted with photographs of her injuries.
While on bail for these matters, he ignored a non-molestation order prohibiting him from contacting the victim.
Despite this order, he continued to call, text and email her.
Barnsley went on to admit charges of breaching a non-molestation order.
He denied charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, intentional strangulation, and criminal damage, but thanks to the strength of our investigation, was convicted following a trial at Basildon Magistrates’ Court in April.
He appeared at Basildon Crown Court on Monday 7 August for sentence.
Barnsley was further sentenced for assaulting a police officer and drink driving, relating to an incident which took place in August 2022.
After his van was signalled to stop in Braintree, Barnsley fled on foot, but was caught by our officers.
In the struggle which followed, it took five officers to get the offender under control.
One officer suffered injuries to his hand which required him to take six days off duty.
Barnsley was sentenced to a total of 42 months’ imprisonment.
He was banned from driving for 18 months and a restraining order was imposed for ten years, prohibiting further contact with the victim.
'I started to realise it wasn't my fault'
The victim, who was supported throughout by the officer in the case DC Debbie Jakeman, said:
“I appreciate everything she’s done. “She was really good from the beginning. She continued to keep in contact with me. "I know in these cases people can often drop their support for a prosecution, and I felt embarrassed about the whole situation. “It is quite a daunting thing to go through something like this and I actually felt really guilty about everything, like it was my fault. “She helped me to appreciate it wasn’t my fault and every stage of the process was communicated back to me. “She kept me informed, she has been amazing throughout.”
DS Thomas Vickers, of Clacton DAIT, said:
“This sentence was secured thanks to the relentless and tireless work of the officer in charge of the case, DC Debbie Jakeman. “The courts rightly took a dim view of Barnsley’s offending, despite his outright refusal to face up to the violence he visited on the victim in this case. “She has stood strong throughout this process, despite the impact these incidents continue to have on her. “She continues to feel trapped and scared by Barnsley’s actions. “But she is not alone. Our dedicated DAIT teams are here to support anyone suffering from domestic abuse. “You may think your abuser has control, but there is always a way out. We are here to listen and help anyone who feels they have no way out of an abusive relationship.”
There is always a way out of an abusive relationship
At Essex Police, we work with victims, but also look to tackle the root cause of domestic abuse by encouraging perpetrators to recognise the damage caused by their actions.
Working in partnership with The Change Project, we are encouraging people to break the cycle of domestic abuse by reflecting on and changing their behaviour.
If you recognise any of the behaviour mentioned in this article and have been reflecting on your actions, it’s not too late to make a change.
Please visit The Change Project for advice on how to make a difference to you, your family, and your partners in the future.
Our specialist officers also work closely with victim-focused organisations, including COMPASS, Next Chapter, Changing Pathways and SafeSteps.