Abusive man who used sleeping girlfriend’s thumb to unlock phone spared jail

By Mirror | Tuesday, May 7th 2019 at 15:39
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A controlling boyfriend who abused his girlfriend and used her thumb to unlock her iPhone as she slept has been spared jail after a judge told him "There's lots more fishes in the sea".

During a campaign of abuse, Alexander Heavens, 24, punched Stacey Booth in the face, trampled on her, bit her on the arm and bent her fingers back so far that she thought they might break, a court heard.

When he found messages suggesting she was seeing someone else, he grabbed a knife and held it to her stomach, leaving her afraid he would use it on her or himself, the court was told.

On one occasion he waited until Miss Booth, 24, had nodded off before gaining access to texts and emails on her phone to find out if she was dating other men.

As the couple lay on her bed, Heavens placed Miss Booth's thumbprint on the iPhone's home button checked her messages and then woke her up to interrogate her throughout the night.

At Manchester Crown Court, Heavens admitted engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship but he escaped with a 12-month community order after blaming his offending on drinking too much and snorting cocaine.

Sentencing had been deferred for six months last November to give him a chance to give up alcohol and drugs and hold down his job in the demolition industry.

Heavens is also currently banned from contacting Miss Booth under the terms of a restraining order.

Judge Martin Rudland told him: "I don't know what was going on in your life. Your relationship for some time had been good but it came crashing down in a rather dreadful way and I have no doubt the drinks and drugs played their part upon your behaviour towards her.

"However you have really made sound efforts to change that and I suspect you feel better for it.

"Everybody is entitled to a second chance and you have used the opportunity to show the court that you can make something of yourself. I set you that task to see whether you could do that.

"Rather than go back, you showed that you didn't let the court down and you have shown you can adjust your lifestyle.

"If there is any further trouble you will be back before me, that's the last thing I want and the last thing you want.

"Put this behind you, put her behind you, there are lots more fishes in the sea and watch how you go."

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