Skipton abuser re-arrested at prison gates after sending controlling letters from inside

An abusive Skipton man who thought he was free to leave jail has been handed an extra two years behind bars after being re-arrested at the prison gates.

John Lowndes

While he was serving a two-year sentence for coercive behaviour, 48-year-old John Lowndes was found to have sent letters to his wife from his cell to try and continue his control over her.

The abuser even tried to get other prisoners to contact and intimidate his victim, whom he had married after a 'whirlwind' romance in 2019.

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He had been slapped with a 10-year restraining order banning him from contact with the woman at his original trial in July 2019. At that hearing at York Crown Court he also pleaded guilty to making threats to kill his victim outside a house in Skipton.

Lowndes was only weeks into his jail term when he began writing to her using other inmates' names, asking for her to appeal to the courts to have the restraining order lifted.

He then asked other men inside the prison to exert further pressure on her by contacting her on his behalf.

Lowndes was due to be released on June 30, but was arrested at the prison gates and returned to custody until his most recent court appearance on July 29, where he pleaded guilty to breaching the restraining order.

The judge at Hull Crown Court gave him another two-year prison term.

Throughout the investigation and court process the victim has received continued support from North Yorkshire Police officers, the force Safeguarding Team, Independent Domestic Abuse Services and other agencies.

Commenting on the sentence today, investigating officer Detective Constable Amy Beveridge said: “Through breaching the restraining order Lowndes showed not only a blatant disregard for the courts, but also the arrogant belief that he could continue to control his victim from his prison cell. I’d like to take this opportunity to commend the victim for her bravery, telling the police about the abuse she continued to suffer and her strength go through the court process again, to put this man where he belongs - behind bars.

PC Pete MacMillan, who was also involved in the investigation added: “We hope this sentence sends a clear message to others who may be living in fear of their partner or a family member; we will do everything in our power to ensure victims of domestic abuse and coercive control are kept safe and that those who repeatedly use these sickening tactics to insight fear and exert control over those they are meant to love, face justice time and time again.”