A bullying and abusive man has been jailed for making his partner’s life a “complete misery” during their time together.
Shane Bowen regularly assaulted the woman by throttling or headbutting her, controlled her money, and constantly accused her of cheating on him.
One one occasion police found him keeping her prisoner in a cupboard.
In a witness statement the woman said she felt like a “slave”.
Swansea Crown Court heard the relationship between the couple started well, but after around six months deteriorated into a coercive and violent one.
Ian Wright, prosecuting, said Bowen would not let his girlfriend have her own mobile phone, would withdraw her benefit money from the bank at the start of every month and make her ask for handouts, prohibited her from see family and friends, insisted they ate the same food, and controlled her access to birth control measures.
He said the defendant subjected the Neath woman to regular assaults during their relationship, either headbutting her in the face – often in front of other people – dragging her around by the hair, or throttling her. When the witnesses to some of these assaults contacted police, the victim refused to co-operate.
After one assault Bowen told the woman he had done it because he loved her.
The prosecutor said on one occasion Bowen lost his temper when his girlfriend ordered a Chinese takeaway from the “wrong” restaurant, and began throwing the plates of food around the room before slamming the woman’s head into the wall, and then making her clean-up the mess. Bowen then told his victim “I don’t f***ing like any other Chinese except New Garden” and made her drive them both to Briton Ferry to go to the right restaurant.
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The court heard that on another occasion when police attended their property in Cadoxton, Bowen denied his girlfriend was at home – but officers searched the house and found he was keeping her prisoner locked in a cupboard. Again the victim refused to co-operate with police.
In March this year the defendant was jailed for 12 weeks by magistrates for assaulting his partner at the Pink Geranium bar in Pontardawe – an incident which had also seen him armed with a police-style baton. When he was released at the half-way point of the sentence he went straight to her house “in a temper” and accused her of sleeping around.
In July he was made the subject of a a domestic violence protection order which he repeatedly breached – breaches which saw him sent back to prison for 28 days in August.
Bowen, formerly of Parc Newydd, Briton Ferry, but now of Elgin Street, Manselton, Swansea, had previously pleaded guilty to coercive or controlling behaviour and to false imprisonment when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.
The court heard he has previous convictions for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, robbery, public order matters – which had seen him banned from the Greyhound pub in Neath – and three batteries, two of which relate to domestic violence.
Jon Tarrant, for Bowen, said the defendant realised he had to tackle his anger and temper issues.
Recorder Christopher Clee QC said the impact of what Bowen had done could be gauged from a witness statement given to police in which the woman said she was “like a slave”.
He told the defendant he had made his girlfriend’s life “a complete misery”.
Giving the defendant a 25 per cent discount for his guilty pleas he sentenced him to two years in prison. Bowen will serve up to a half of that period in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.
The defendant was made the subject of a restraining order banning him from contacting his ex- for the next five years.
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