A young Bexhill man has been handed a custodial sentence after being convicted of a series of violent and coercive offences against a young girl, according to police.
The 18-year-old man – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was convicted at Hastings Youth Court on Monday (May 14) after a trial, police said.
Police said he was convicted of ‘controlling and coercive behaviour and of three counts of assault by beating last year’, all against his former partner who is younger than him.
A police spokesman said the teenager was sentenced to six months detention at a Young Offenders Institution and was given a five-year restraining order prohibiting him from contacting his victim.
Detective Constable Sally O’Shaughnessy of the Hastings Safeguarding Investigations Unit said; “This was a complex investigation which could not have gone forward without the immense bravery of the victim and with the support of her family. The defendant forced the victim into the trial process and denied his guilt throughout.
“What is of particular concern is that the offender was under 18 when he committed these offences upon a younger victim.
“The offences involved a serious level of violence inflicted including punching and kicking, with a pattern of coercive behaviour being established very quickly, including what the victim was allowed to wear, what she was allowed to eat, what make up she could wear. Everything was aimed at maximising her humiliation.
“Controlling and coercive behaviour is a pattern of behaviour which seeks to in effect take away the victim’s liberty or freedom, to strip away their sense of self. Nobody should be subjected to such demeaning treatment.
“If you are suffering coercive or controlling behaviour, or know of anyone who is, please contact us online or by calling 101, and arrange to talk in confidence to experienced investigators.”
For information on how to identify coercive behaviour and how to combat it, go online to the Sussex Police website.