Halifax man jailed over control of woman

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A Halifax man has been jailed for taking complete control of a woman’s life including taking over her finances and refusing to let his victim wash herself.

Graham O’Shea is beginning a four year prison sentence after being the first person in West Yorkshire to be charged and convicted for the offence of controlling and coercive behaviour.

The forty-two-year old was found guilty by a jury at Bradford Crown Court and given a life-long restraining order against the victim, her father, sister and refused access to areas of Halifax.

O’Shea, from the Mixenden area of Halifax began a relationship with the victim after meeting in a pub in March 2016.

He promptly told people that they were in a relationship, and proceeded to help the victim move house following the end of a previous abusive relationship.

O’Shea quickly moved himself in to her new home, and took control of every aspect of her life including her finances.

He took her bank cards and gave her an allowance of £10 per week.

He refused to let the victim wash herself, or her clothing and refused to let her visit her family. He escorted her to and from the bus stop when she went to work and regularly accused her of infidelity.

O’Shea intensively instructed the victim to learn the game of chess, before selecting a piece and telling her that if it was the last one left on the board she would be leaving in a black box.

He also physically assaulted her on two occasions and insisted on sexual intercourse daily.

The victim, who gave her evidence by video link, told the court that she lived in fear and was petrified of O’Shea. She planned her escape on May 21, when she told him she was going to work, but instead went to her father’s address and contacted the police.

The offence of controlling and coercive behaviour is part of the Serious Crime Act 2015, and went live in December 2015.