A MAN who held his partner’s head underwater, covered her face with a pillow and kicked her, has narrowly avoided jail after being convicted of controlling and coercive behaviour.

Corey Andrew Neil Charlton, whose address was given as West Street, Chickerell, appeared before Weymouth Magistrates Court on Thursday, March 2, where he claimed he believed his behaviour was ‘just joking around’.

The 25-year-old was sentenced for one count of controlling and coercive behaviour relating to a course of conduct between January 1 and June 9 of last year. 

Elizabeth Valera, prosecuting, said the victim had been subjected to 'multiple assaults' during her relationship and that Charlton would often ‘shout in order to get his way’.

The court was told he had both held his, then, partner’s head under water and covered her face with a pillow whilst she was pregnant.

It also heard that Charlton controlled what his former partner wore, who she saw, and the use of her phone - which he previously told court was “just joking around”.

He said he accepted that there were “occasions when my behaviour became overwhelming and would have become frightening even though I believed I was just joking around.”

Charlton admitted shoving the victim’s head underwater whilst she was pregnant and said, again, he believed he was ‘just joking’ but that he did so because he didn’t want their relationship to finish and was ‘determined to stop her from doing things’.

He further accepted that he made numerous threats of suicide in order to ‘get his way’.

The court was told Charlton had been in a relationship with his victim for a period of ‘around a year and a half’ and that they have a daughter together. His victim was ‘supported by her mother’ in reporting the behaviour to the police because she ‘just couldn’t deal with it anymore’ at a time when their daughter was three-months-old.

At the sentencing hearing Charlton provided no mitigation for the offences.

The bench of three magistrates deliberated their sentence for approximately half an hour before Sandra Wayman, chairman of the bench, told the 25-year-old he would be sentenced to 45 weeks in prison - suspended for a period of two years.

He must also carry out 60 hours of unpaid work and pay £350 in compensation, £350 in costs, and a £156 surcharge to fund victim services.

A restraining order of three years was imposed in respect of his victim.