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Crime

I can never live a normal life after being stalked

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“I can never have a routine again. My life is still controlled by his behaviour. I have to do what I can to keep myself safe.”

THERE are the words of a woman who was stalked, controlled, and threatened by her ex-partner.

She has bravely shared her experiences as a victim of domestic abuse as part of Dyfed-Powys Police’s winter campaign, which aims to speak to those affected by domestic abuse, stalking and harassment, empowering them to report incidents, and offering means to find support.

Cathy outlined the ongoing effects of the psychological abuse she was subjected to by a man who ‘targeted, groomed and controlled’ her when she was vulnerable.

Appearing to be ‘the nicest of people’ when they first met, Cathy said his behaviour changed when they began a relationship, and he started to control her.

“I was totally manipulated and managed by this man,” she said. “All the things you see in domestic abuse cases where the victim and perpetrator are married or live together, he did to me – he controlled me, he stopped me from seeing friends, he was damaging things and blaming me. He was totally gaslighting me, but he would be so angry that I didn’t dare do anything about it.

“He never physically abused me, but the effects of being coercively controlled are the most dangerous – the psychological abuse is impossible to get over.”

Realising some of his actions were warning flags, Cathy started a diary where she could log his behaviour.

He was watching her while she was at home, turning up at places she had not told him she was going to, and she later found out he was stalking her.

As well as getting advice from Dyfed-Powys Police, she sought help from several support organisations.
“I would crawl to the kitchen to make a cup of tea – that’s how unsafe I felt at that time,” she said.
“For months and months I had an overnight bag packed so I could just disappear. From every room in my house, I had an escape route. I knew exactly how I could get out of there if I needed to.

Domestic abuse covers physical or sexual abuse; violent or threatening behaviour; economic abuse; and psychological or emotional abuse. The victim and offender are linked as relatives, partners who are or have been married or in a civil partnership (or are engaged to be); in an intimate relationship; or have had parental relationships with the same child.

“I want to spread the word that domestic abuse isn’t always linked to somebody you may live with, have lived with, or you have children with,” Cathy said. “If you’ve had an intimate relationship with someone – even a one night stand – and they go on to stalk, harass or control you – that is domestic abuse.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are, what your background is, or your education, you could be affected by it.”

Cathy was mostly complimentary about the action taken by police, and at the end of the criminal justice process measures were put in place to protect her. The effects of the psychological abuse took a toll on her mental health, however, and her experiences have led to major changes in how she lives her life.

“I always consider the consequences of what I do or say,” she said. “I’m permanently scanning my surroundings, I’m always checking my rear view mirror, I cannot switch off.

“I still always have to be prepared.

“He is still a threat. Until he dies, I feel he is a threat to me and my life.”

If any of Cathy’s story resonates with you, or you need to report domestic abuse, stalking or harassment, you can contact Dyfed-Powys Police in the following ways:
Report online: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline
Email: [email protected]
Call: 101

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908
In an emergency, always call 999.If you feel you need support in contacting police, there are organisations that can help you. Click here to find them, or search online for Live Fear Free, Women’s Aid or the National Stalking Helpline – all of which have free helplines available.

Crime

Police investigating after man injured during altercation in cemetery

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POLICE have confirmed that they are investigating a report of an altercation which occurred in the cemetery off Gelliswick Road, Hakin, Milford Haven sometime between 4.30 and 5.00pm, Wednesday 17th July, 2024.

Following the incident, a 32-year-old man went to hospital for treatment and was later released.

A 19-year-old male has been arrested on suspicion of assault and released on bail pending further police enquiries police have confirmed.

The incident caught the attention of locals, who said there was a large police response to the incident included armed officers.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: 394 of the 17th

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org

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Crime

West Wales man jailed for rape after victim’s cries heard

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A WEST WALES man has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison for raping a woman in an attack that ended only when her cries for help were heard by others. Charlie Evans, a 22-year-old former Exeter University student, ignored his victim’s repeated pleas for him to stop during the 45-minute ordeal.

The incident took place after Evans and his victim had attended a party, where both had been drinking. The court heard that after kissing, the pair left together, with the woman under the impression that Evans lived in a flat with her friend.

Upon returning to the flat, the woman used the toilet before Evans raped her, despite her repeatedly saying no. The prosecutor described the victim as crying hysterically and added: “She did not want these things to happen.”

During the attack, one student testified they could hear the victim not consenting and begging Evans to stop. Another person said they were so concerned they inquired about what was happening.

Police were alerted after the incident was reported to campus staff, who then contacted the emergency services. Evans was told to leave his flat and was subsequently removed from the university. He denied the offence during his police interview.

Evans, of Victoria Avenue, Mumbles, Swansea, was convicted earlier this year at Exeter Crown Court of rape and sexual assault. He was sentenced on July 12. In a victim statement, the woman said her life had been forever changed by Evans’s actions. She expressed feelings of fear, confusion, and shame during the incident and continues to suffer from nightmares. She now feels distrustful of men and has sought support to cope with her trauma, the court heard.

Christopher Quinlan KC, defending, presented multiple good character references for Evans, describing him as a “kind and respectful” young man who was “always positive, compassionate and thoughtful.” He argued that his client’s life was “in ruins” as a result of his actions.

However, Judge Stephen Climie told Evans he had “completely misrepresented” his victim’s position, adding: “She was so far away from wishing to engage in your sexual activity that the only explanation for your attitude and approach was alcohol that blinded you to what was clearly and obviously the word ‘No’.” He continued: “So far as your life is concerned you will be crushed as a result of the sentence I’m required to impose.”

Following the sentencing, DC Michele Hicks from Devon and Cornwall Police’s major crime investigation team praised the victim for her courage and resilience throughout the investigation. She said: “I hope this case reassures the community how seriously the police take reports of sexual violence against women and girls and gives people the courage to come forward in future.”

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Crime

Man sentenced for disturbing domestic abuse against his mother

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IN a harrowing case heard at Swansea Crown Court, Silviu Grigore, 35, has been sentenced for a series of disturbing offences against his 66-year-old mother, including threats to kill, assault, and extreme inappropriate behaviour.

The court heard that Grigore, who is unemployed, had made his mother’s life unbearable, subjecting her to relentless verbal abuse, demands for money, and physical threats. This sustained pattern of abuse culminated in an incident on May 17th, where Grigore’s actions escalated to a terrifying degree.

Grigore, originally from Romania, moved to the UK with his mother in 2021, settling in Llanybydder. Despite their shared history, his behaviour towards her became increasingly hostile. The court was told that Grigore frequently shouted and swore at his mother, calling her derogatory names, spitting at her, and blaming her for his unemployment.

One particularly shocking aspect of the case was revealed when it was stated that Grigore had exposed himself to his mother on multiple occasions. On one such occasion, he inserted a plastic bottle into his rectum in her presence, a deeply distressing experience for the victim.

The events of May 17th began when Grigore’s mother returned from work and went to bed, only for Grigore to burst into her room, making accusations and demanding money for alcohol. Despite her attempts to escape, the abuse continued later that evening after they bought a pizza together. Grigore’s behaviour became increasingly erratic and aggressive after consuming beer.

The court heard that he shouted, screamed, and spat at his mother, making repeated threats to kill her. In fear for her life, she sought refuge in a garden shed but was eventually persuaded to come back inside. Grigore then physically assaulted her, grabbing her clothing and shaking her while continuing his threats.

Terrified, his mother fled to a nearby supermarket and contacted the police. Although Grigore initially denied the offences, he changed his plea to guilty when the case reached the crown court.

During the sentencing, the court heard of the profound impact on the victim. She described feeling low, frightened, and unable to find peace, suffering from loss of sleep, stress, and isolation from friends and family.

In his defence, it was noted that Grigore had faced significant challenges in his early life, including the loss of his father at a young age, which forced him into an adult role prematurely. His defence argued that his emotional and educational development had been stunted as a result. Additionally, Grigore’s actions were attributed to a ‘clear lapse’ in his mental health, exacerbated by alcohol abuse, for which he expressed remorse.

Grigore’s criminal record includes eight previous convictions for 12 offences, including battery, and he was under a court order at the time of the May 17th offences.

Judge Mr Recorder G Bull KC condemned the aggravated nature of the offences, noting their occurrence in a domestic setting, the history of abuse, and the breach of a community order. Grigore was sentenced to 15 months in prison for the threats to kill, with a concurrent four-month sentence for the assault. He will serve half of this time in prison and the remainder on licence.

Additionally, a five-year restraining order was imposed, prohibiting Grigore from contacting his mother in any manner.

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