Published: 19:40, 05 January 2017
A man has been jailed for two years for using controlling and coercive behaviour against his former partner.
Jan Horvath, of Tontine Street, Folkestone, subjected the woman to a catalogue of physical and emotional abuse over an eight-month period.
The 22-year-old victim, from Dover, eventually snapped and called police in July.
The couple met in November 2015 and started living together a few weeks later, which is when Horvath started to become abusive.
Over the next few months the 36-year-old stopped her from seeing her friends; went through her phone and deleted male contacts; insisted on accompanying her to meet friends, and did not let her wear makeup.
He pressured her into reducing the hours she worked so that she could look after him, called her offensive names and would often invite his friends around and expect her to cook for them.
Over time Horvath also became violent to her and made numerous threats.
He was arrested on July 5 and charged the following day with engaging in behaviour which was controlling or coercive.
He originally denied the allegations and was remanded in custody.
However, he changed his plea to guilty when compelling evidence gathered by police detectives and analysts was presented in court.
His U-turn spared his victim the ordeal of having to give evidence in court.
Judge Heather Norton sentenced Horvath to 24 months in prison, but reduced the sentence by three months for pleading guilty.
She ordered that he serve half the sentence in custody and the remainder on licence.
He is also subject to a restraining order for five years to protect the victim and her family.
Sentencing Judge Norton said she took into account that Horvath was already subject to two suspended sentences for separate domestic abuse offences involving different victims at the time he committed the latest offence.
"Horvath was prosecuted using the new offence of ‘controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship’ -detective constable Keith Rochford
Detective constable Keith Rochford said: "This is the best possible outcome for the victim, who suffered months of domestic abuse at the hands of Horvath, but did not have to re-live her ordeal by giving evidence in person, in court.
"Horvath was prosecuted using the new offence of ‘controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship’ that only became law in the Serious Crime Act 2015.
"I am pleased with the result and that this offender has been brought to justice and that the victim will hopefully be able to move forward and rebuild her life.
"Domestic abuse is a serious matter and one we will always investigate thoroughly and sensitively putting the victim first at every stage.
"Nobody should have to suffer this behaviour, so if anyone is concerned about a relationship I would urge them to contact police, or seek help from the Kent and Medway Domestic Abuse Service (www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk)."
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