• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Suspended sentence for Sonning Common builder who threw milk on car

Byoxfordnewspaper

Aug 19, 2022

A builder who threw milk over his ex-partner’s windscreen walked from court with a suspended sentence.

Casey Courtney, 60, blamed work stress for his bullying behaviour that saw him stop her from leaving the house and demand to see her phone.

Sentencing the Sonning Common man to 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years, chairman of the bench Carole Payne said: “This is and was a very serious set of offences over a sustained period of time.”

Prosecutor Anna Fitchett told Oxford Magistrates’ Court that the defendant’s ex, with whom he had been in a relationship for a decade, had reported a number of incidents when she was subject to bullying, controlling behaviour or violence.

On one occasion he had poured a four litre bottle of milk over her car windscreen, making it hard for her to drive away. On another occasion, he had damaged her car door when he wrenched it open.

On October 3, she was hosting a baby shower and had packed a bag in readiness. During an argument in their bedroom, he grabbed hold of the dressing gown she was wearing and pulled her onto the bed, ripping the robe.

Later that month, he was throwing his dinner around the kitchen and smashed a wine glass and mug.

The prosecutor said Courtney had tried to stop his former partner from ringing the police.

On December 8, the woman told her then partner she was going to work. He did not believe her and tried to grab hold of her bag. The holdall ended up on the floor and he searched it – trampling on her belongings in the process. A bag of M&M sweets was stood on and the confectionery smashed.

Ms Fitchett said the defendant dragged the woman towards the stairs. She tried to get up and went back to the bedroom to retrieve her bag. Courtney was said to have stood in front of her, stopping her from leaving the house, then ‘licked her in the face’ – although this was denied.

In a basis of plea, Courtney admitted that ‘at times’ his behaviour had been coercive and controlling. He said that he had stood in front of the door or tried to stop his ex from leaving the house in order to continue the conversation. He had wanted to know ‘who she was on the phone to and who she has been messaging’, he said.

Courtney, of Churchill Crescent, Sonning Common, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to coercive behaviour, assault by beating and criminal damage. He had no previous convictions.

In mitigation, the defendant was said to have been going through a ‘stressful period’ last year, having taken on too much building work.

He had never been in trouble with the police and there had been no domestic violence call-outs during his two previous marriages. He had three children who were dependant upon him and elderly parents, both of whom suffered from poor physical health.

Courtney must complete the building better relationships programme, up to 40 rehabilitation activity requirement days and pay £234 in costs and surcharge. A restraining order prevents him from contacting his ex-partner for two years.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward