A CONTROLLING boyfriend who pointed a knife at his partner’s throat and threatened to kill her in front of two teenage girls has been jailed for 33 months.
Elliot Kershaw, aged 43, of Wesley Court, Warren Street, Tenby, initially denied all offences, but at Swansea Crown Court on Monday, 25 April, he pleaded guilty to affray and ABH.
Dyfed-Powys Police were called to Trafalgar Road, Tenby on 21st October 2020, following a dropped 999 call by a woman with sounds of a disturbance in the background.
When officers arrived, they spoke with the victim, her daughter and her daughter’s friend, who had been left shaken by the experience.
It was established that following an argument Kershaw made threats in the presence of the teenagers, saying he was going to “murder” the victim, “kick her face in” and “go mental”, before storming out of the living room and returning with a knife from the kitchen.
The witnesses reported he was holding the knife above his head saying repeatedly: “You'll see, you'll see. Do you want me to show you?', with his face was contorted with anger.
He was then described as holding the knife out in front of himself and continued to make threats against the victim while holding the tip of the knife close to her throat.
Kershaw was arrested at the scene.
During the resulting investigation the victim gave further statements which disclosed previous assaults, as well as coercive and controlling behaviour by Kershaw throughout their two-year relationship.
This included extreme jealousy when the victim was not with him, blocking contact with family and friends, violence and even following her when she was on a night out with work colleagues.
The victim reported that on Thursday, 9th January 2020, she was sitting on the sofa when Kershaw became angry about something unknown, stood up and kicked her in the face causing a bruise to her cheek. Kershaw would not allow the victim to go to work or answer the front door the following day as the bruise was visible.
Kershaw was in court on Monday when he offered a guilty plea for affray for the incident on 21st October 2020, as well as ABH for an assault that had occurred previously in the relationship, which was accepted by the victim and prosecution.
He received 33 months imprisonment and a five-year restraining order covering his victim and her daughter.
In a statement to the court, the victim said she had moved house as a result of the abuse to a home that felt more secure.
She added: “Looking back on the relationship now that it is over and now that I have gained a bit of perspective; although I am questioning my whole understanding of what is acceptable in relationships, I realised how toxic the relationship had been.
“I can see how unhappy we all were in the relationship and how the house never really felt like ‘ours’ due to Elliot’s presence and the influence that he would impose on us both when we were inside. It felt more like a prison than a home.
“This whole situation has had a massive strain on me emotionally as I was also caring for my elderly parents, attempting to protect my daughter and at times I have really buried my head in the sand as there were days I could not face what has happened and there are still days where it takes all my energy just to function. I am embarrassed and feel that this relationship and subsequent violent ending has made me focus on how vulnerable I was and how vulnerable I still feel.”
Speaking afterwards, she thanked the officers involved in the investigation, adding she and her daughter felt supported and reassured through the whole investigation and court process.
Investigating officer DC Joe Hartnell said: “Violence against women and girls is never acceptable and as a force we are working hard to stop it happening in our area.
“We’re pleased with the outcome in this case, which we hope offers some solace to the victims and will serve as a warning for anyone who is being abusive.
“If you are suffering at the hands of someone please get in touch. We will support and guide you through the process.
“It is also important to tell us if you witness or hear anyone being abused – please don’t just let it pass. We can only act if we know it is happening.”