Welwyn Garden City mum victim of controlling behaviour before she died, court hears
PUBLISHED: 19:00 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 19:00 19 March 2018
A WGC mum who died last year was a victim of coercive and controlling behaviour, St Albans Crown Court heard today (Monday, March 19).
Pollards Close resident Kellie Sutton had been in a relationship with Steven Gane, 31, for several months before she died on August 26 last year.
At around 7am on August 23, Miss Sutton sent several texts to Gane – read aloud in court by prosecuting barrister Simon Ash – in which she criticised how he allegedly treated her and threatened to hang herself.
After unsuccessfully trying to call her, Gane – who worked at Travis Perkins in WGC – went to Miss Sutton’s home and found her unconscious before calling 999, the court heard.
Paramedics managed to get her heart beating again and rushed her to Lister Hospital, but Miss Sutton, who was 30 at the time, never recovered consciousness and her life support machine was turned off.
Police later spoke to Gane, who in September gave the address of Gadsden Close in Upminster, and eventually charged him with controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and two counts of assault by beating.
He strongly denies the allegations.
A friend of Miss Sutton, who she described her as a “happy go lucky person” before the relationship started, said Miss Sutton told her that Gane repeatedly thought she was cheating on him.
Another friend told the court: “She [Miss Sutton] told me that he would always talk to her like a piece of s**t, called her a slut, accused her of cheating on him all the time.”
Prosecutor Mr Ash also quoted several texts that Miss Sutton sent to Gane weeks before she died, bemoaning his alleged controlling behaviour.
In one she told Gane “I’m fed up of this s**t prisoner life”, and in another claimed “all you are going to do is moan and beat me all afternoon”.
However, in a statement previously made to the police, Gane said: “I never stopped her seeing her friends. I have never caused her injuries, bruising and black eyes as alleged.
“Our relationship had its difficulties like most people’s but never to the point where physical violence was used or psychological abuse.”
In another statement he told police: “I have never hit or punched her... I have never thrown Kellie across the room and I have never smashed her head against the table.
“I’m aware that Kellie has been on antidepressants for mental health issues in the past.
“I completely deny the allegations against me.”
The case continues.