Trial begins of man accused of coercive behaviour

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Daniel Harris, of Bury St Edmunds, pleaded not guilty to using controlling or coercive behaviour. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

A “controlling bully” isolated his girlfriend from her friends and family by constantly checking her phone, reading her texts and telling her how to dress and wear her hair, it has been alleged.

On one occasion Daniel Harris, who had been seeing another woman at the same time as the victim, had stopped her from leaving his house by locking the front door, Ipswich Crown Court heard on Monday.

She had been upset and had begged him to let her go, claimed Marc Brown, prosecuting.

On another occasion he had deliberately fallen over and banged his head. After going to Addenbrooke’s Hospital he allegedly told her she would have to stay with him as he needed to be checked every hour.

The alleged victim had also been a keen rower but was allegedly forced by Harris to give up her hobby because her friend was in the same team.

Harris had also allegedly told the woman how to dress and accused her of flirting with other men.

Harris, of Kendall Close, Bury St Edmunds pleaded not guilty to using controlling or coercive behaviour between January 2016 and January 2018.

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Mr Brown described Harris as a  “controlling bully who was emotionally manipulative.”

He claimed that Harris had isolated the woman by stopping her having meaningful contact with friends and family by constantly checking her phone and had made her leave WhatsApp.

He alleged that Harris had also followed the woman in his car when she went out and had called and texted her when she went out to find out where she was and who she was with.

On one occasion he’d allegedly held her head over some water and twisted her head to make her hair wet and made her go to work without straightening it because he felt it made her look less attractive, said Mr Brown.

Harris had also allegedly prevented the woman from taking a senior management role at work.

Mr Brown told the court that at the same time as Harris was seeing the alleged victim he had also been in a relationship with another woman.

The trial continues on Tuesday (December 14).