The relatively new offence of controlling and coercive behaviour, is being prosecuted more and more before the courts. Recent high profile documentaries have ensured, the offence is a regular topic for debate.
When is the offence committed? Nick Dearing, a solicitor of over twenty years experience, explains ” The prosecution must prove that the defendant; repeatedly or continuously engaged in behaviour towards another person; that behaviour was controlling or coercive; at the time of the behaviour, the defendant and the other person were personally connected; and that behaviour had a serious effect on the other person. Further, the defendant knew or ought to have known that the behaviour would have a serious effect on that other person.”
“These cases are dealt with seriously by the courts and rightly so. It is therefore important, an accused obtains expert legal advice. Cases can span over large periods of time and the issues are often complex, of a sensitive nature and the behaviour alleged may be disputed. It is a defence if in engaging in the behaviour resulting in prosecution, the accused believed they were acting in the other person’s best interests and their behaviour was reasonable in all of the circumstances.”
If you want to speak to a member of our criminal department please do not hesitate to contact us.