Teacher denies "building a case" against ex-partner accused of coercive behaviour

Bronnagh Brannigan was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Daniel Harris is on trial at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A Suffolk teacher who has accused her former partner of controlling her by telling her how to dress and isolating her from family by constantly checking her phone and reading her texts has denied trying to “build a case” against him.

Giving evidence from behind a screen at Ipswich Crown Court the woman denied that she was making incidents that happened in their relationship sound much worse than they actually were.

During cross examination by Joe Bird, who is representing her former partner Daniel Harris, the woman denied that she was “ trying to build a case against him to make him sound controlling when he wasn’t.”

Harris, 33, of Kendall Close, Bury St Edmunds, has pleaded not guilty to using controlling or coercive behaviour between January 2016 and January 2018.

It has been alleged that Harris was a “two-timing controlling bully” who isolated the alleged victim from her friends and family by constantly checking her phone and reading her texts and told her how to dress and wear her hair

On one occasion Harris, who had been seeing another woman at the same time as his girlfriend, had allegedly stopped her from leaving his house by locking the front door

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

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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 told the woman how to dress and accused her of flirting with other men.

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

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 pushed her into some water to make her hair wet and made her go to work without straightening it.

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.

On one occasion the alleged victim had gone to Harris’s house while the other woman was there and the two women had spoken to each other.

The trial continues.