Possessive Boyfriend Jailed for 'Psychological Abuse' of his Girlfriend in UK

Published August 1st, 2018 - 10:42 GMT
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)

A possessive boyfriend has been jailed for 'psychological abuse' over a controlling relationship in which he bullied and belittled his selfie-loving girlfriend over how she used social media.

Matthew Bailey, 24, banned care assistant Molly Cunliffe, 19, from using Snapchat, ordered her not to message heterosexual men on Facebook and Instagram, and even told her she was not allowed to put kisses at the end of social media posts.

He dictated the only male friends she could contact over social media had to be gay. 

Bailey was so jealous, he would regularly check Miss Cunliffe's mobile phone, tell her what to wear and demanded she send him pictures or go on FaceTime to prove she was at home or asleep in bed.

During a four week romance, Bailey also bombard Miss Cunliffe with multiple phone calls demanding she ring him every day - and then falsely accused her of cheating on him whenever she did not answer.

Miss Cunliffe, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, tried to end the relationship but Bailey threatened to kill her family. 

She went to police after a burst of 30 calls in just one morning from her obsessed partner.

At Manchester Magistrates' Court, Bailey, from Horwich, near Bolton, was jailed for six months after he was found guilty of engaging in controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship. 

He was also barred from contacting Miss Cunliffe for five years under the terms of a restraining order.

During one phone call recorded by a friend of Miss Cunliffe following an argument, Bailey warned her: 'You'll get a car through your front window and I'll stab you in the neck. You know what I'm capable of.'

He added: 'Do not block my number then go home and shag. Tell your mum and dad to sit upstairs, I'll drive a car through your gaff - take a picture to prove you're outside having a cig.'

The court heard the couple met in April over Instagram where Miss Cunliffe has 5,000 followers and had a date at a Five Guys restaurant in Manchester.

Miss Cunliffe told the hearing: 'We saw each other for four days in a row and at first he was good but he started getting controlling. On day two we became official - then the name calling started on day four. I felt quite devastated and upset.

'We had to meet at certain times, and I have to be up and dressed at certain times. 

'He would ring me several times in the morning and would accuse me of sleeping with someone else if I didn't answer. 

'He would call me names such as a s**g or a s**t and he would continuously ring me, every minute - I felt like I was trapped.'

She continued: 'He started texting my mum because she gave him her number, saying ''would you tell Molly to answer the phone''. 

'He asked me for my phone and would ask me who I was texting. I told him to look at it to prove I wasn't texting other people and other boys.

'They had to be gay for me to message them, but he would not explain why. I have a lot of male friends, and he would tell me not to put any kisses on messages to them. 

'He would look at my phone every day, and all the time I would spend with him he would constantly check my phone. I kept getting upset and he said he wouldn't do it again but I did not see any friends and family during that time.

'He would keep ringing to make sure I was at home and we had to FaceTime or I would have to send him pictures to prove I was at home. If I was asleep he would accuse me and then I had to send a picture.

'I wasn't allowed to have Snapchat because I was speaking to a boy, so I deleted it. I was not allowed to follow any more boys on Instagram. 

'I tried to end the relationship three times but he kept saying he would change only to then threatened to kill me and my family on the phone.

'I blocked his number because I didn't want to be with him anymore but then unblocked him because he threatened me. 

'He said ''I swear to god if you don't unblock my number''. I was at home when he phoned and said he was going to kill me and one of his friends called me and said to stop with my attitude.

'I was scared and told my mum and dad but he rang back and said the same things. He later messaged my mum and said ''Molly's got the wrong end of the story please don't think any different of me''. But he rang the next morning around 30 times - I felt very scared.'

The court heard during one incident Bailey threatened Miss Cunliffe with a pool cue in a pub after a row about him flirting with another girl.

Miss Cunlffe's father John said. 'I thought Matt was very forward and very over friendly and I wasn't too happy about the relationship. He was always on her and following her about and was too possessive.

'He would wait for her after a 12 hours shift outside her work and Molly went into her shell more and wasn't herself. She went quiet and didn't speak to us as much as she used to. 

'On one occasion she came downstairs in an outfit and her mum said how nice she looked but then she changed because Matt said she had to change. I thought it was wrong and controlling.

'We went to a BBQ and he was taking photos of Molly texting on her phone. I felt angry. She showed me some of the calls and there were 32 in just half an hour on one morning. 

'Matt rang my phone on someone else's number so I answered, and he asked me why had Molly blocked him. He sounded angry. I did not approach him but I told her she needed to end it and I let her deal with it.'

Bailey denied wrongdoing and said: 'It was a fast moving relationship and I thought her dad liked me. She got quite jealous about my girl friends and I would look at her phone to gain stability in the relationship.

'When she said I would ring her every day, I would ring to wake her up for work - we had a joke that she had a personal alarm clock. She had never said that I shouldn't call. She was always on her phone.'

'It didn't bother me at first that she was on her phone a lot, but I didn't want to be in a relationship with someone who was always on their phone. '

But District Judge James Hatton told Bailey: 'This was a short relationship which quickly became unpleasant.

'The complainant was credible and tried to end the relationship. She told the truth. Her father was concerned and described the change in her.

'The victim has experienced an extremely unpleasant time in her life. You were involved in domestic abuse almost through the whole relationship - you belittled her.' 

Bailey was also ordered to pay compensation to Miss Cunliffe plus costs and surcharges totalling £735. 

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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