A BOYFRIEND who used his sleeping girlfriend’s thumb to unlock her phone and check if she was seeing other men has been spared jail, after a judge told him: ‘There’s lots more fishes in the sea.’
Alexander Heavens also demanded the code to Stacey Booth’s iPhone to check her messages, quizzed her about contacts, punched her twice in the face, held a knife to her stomach, bit her on the arm and bent her fingers until she thought they might break, a court heard.
The 24-year-old from Failsworth, Greater Manchester, admitted engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship but escaped with a 12 month community order after blaming his offending on drinking too much and using cocaine.
Sentencing Heavens, judge Martin Rudland told him ‘everybody is entitled to a second chance’, and said he had made an effort to show he could ‘make something’ of himself. He advised Heavens: ‘Put this behind you, put her behind you, there are lots more fishes in the sea and watch how you go.’
Sentencing had been deferred for six months last November to give Heavens, who is banned from contacting Ms Booth, a chance to give up alcohol and drugs and hold down his job in the demolition industry. The previous hearing at Manchester crown court was told how Heavens and Ms Booth were together for six years until their relationship soured around Christmas 2016 after he started using cocaine. Prosecutor Rob Smith said: ‘He started taking his anger out on her and was paranoid about her actions.’
Ms Booth, also 24, ended the relationship on her birthday in October 2017. Mr Smith said when Heavens was arrested ‘he denied all allegations and said it made him laugh to say he was controlling as he had never laid a finger on her’.
In a statement, Ms Booth said: ‘I have always tried to help him but he has responded with abuse physically and mentally. He sent numerous messages, he visited me at home and he would always call me when I was with my family.
‘I did not feel able to change my routine and the whole relationship felt normal, but I now realise it was not normal at all.’