Bognor man jailed for ‘violent abuse and controlling behaviour’

Lawrence Hendry. Photo from Sussex Police
Lawrence Hendry. Photo from Sussex Police

A Bognor man has been given a 21-month prison sentence for subjecting a woman to a series of frightening and violent abuse, controlling and coercive behaviour, according to police.

Police said Lawrence Hendry, 31, a cleaner, of Pagham Road, Bognor, was sentenced when he appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court on Wednesday (July 4), having pleaded guilty on June 11 to one count of coercive and controlling behaviour, and two counts of assault by beating.

He was also given a ten-year restraining order prohibiting him from any contact with the victim, any breach of which would result in a further sentence of up to five years, police said.

In a statement today, police quoted Judge Tim Mousley’s words sentencing Hendry, describing his behaviour as bearing ‘all the hallmarks of cowardly bullying’.

Judge Mousley said: “You tried whatever you could to control her to break her down and it continued for a long time.

“You have, I’m quite satisfied, an untrusting nature which has been exacerbated by your use of alcohol and cocaine and the combination of them.

“Your abuse to the victim took many forms both physical and mental.”

Sussex Police Investigator Dawn Hosken said police were first alerted to the case by a concerned member of the public before officers were contacted separately by the victim.

She said that over the previous 12 months Hendry had become very controlling towards the victim, going so far as to install a covert camera in her flat to watch her remotely, taking her phone away from her to check the contents, and regularly attacking her by punching and kicking her.

She added he had also on a previous occasion thrown a mobile phone at her and became verbally abusive.

She said: “If you are suffering such abuse, or know of someone who is, there is no need to suffer in silence.

“You can contact us online or by calling 101, and arrange to talk in confidence to experienced investigators.

“If you want talk to someone else first, or need further information or guidance, see our website which gives access to a range of support and advisory services and other helpful information.”