Welwyn Garden City domestic and racial abuser jailed after 'years' of cruelty

PUBLISHED: 12:26 19 February 2019

Brian Henry, of Welwyn Garden City, has been jailed for assault and coercive and controlling behaviour. 
Picture; Herts Police

Brian Henry, of Welwyn Garden City, has been jailed for assault and coercive and controlling behaviour. Picture; Herts Police

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Brian Henry from Welwyn Garden City has been jailed for assaulting and controlling his former partner.

A police cordon in place around an address in Blythway, Welwyn Garden City, in August 2017.A police cordon in place around an address in Blythway, Welwyn Garden City, in August 2017.

Tragically, the victim passed away due to a heart complaint while he was being arrested for one of the incidents.

The victim, his ex, phoned police from their property in Welwyn Garden City on August 15, 2017 after he assaulted and verbally abused her.

He was intoxicated and had been using coercive behaviour towards her.

While he was standing in the victim’s face and pointing at her, he was bitten by a dog.

A police cordon in place around an address in Blythway, Welwyn Garden City, in August 2017.A police cordon in place around an address in Blythway, Welwyn Garden City, in August 2017.

He then claimed the dog bites were from where she had stabbed him, and said he was going to get her locked up.

He was also squeezing his hands so drops of blood fell.

Henry used racially abusive language towards the victim and threw grapes at her.

He was then arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault.

A police cordon in place around an address in Blythway, Welwyn Garden City, in August 2017.A police cordon in place around an address in Blythway, Welwyn Garden City, in August 2017.

While he was being arrested, the victim, who was standing outside the address with an officer, suddenly collapsed and sadly died.

It was later found that the victim had an undiagnosed heart problem.

In a previous incident on August 4, 2017, the victim reported that Henry returned home intoxicated after being asked to leave the pub, and proceeded to spit at her and swear at her.

She said he was slamming things around, pushing her and then he hit her.

A police cordon in place around an address in Blythway, Welwyn Garden City, in August 2017.A police cordon in place around an address in Blythway, Welwyn Garden City, in August 2017.

Henry was arrested for racially aggravated common assault, and coercive and controlling behaviour.

He was later released from custody and no further action was taken at the time, however the case was reviewed following the second incident on August 15, 2017.

At St Albans Crown Court on February 12, 56-year-old Henry, of Blythway, Welwyn Garden City, pleaded guilty to the two counts of racially/religiously aggravated common assault/beating.

Henry pleaded guilty to engaging in controlling/coercive behaviour in an intimate/family relationship from December 29, 2015 to August 15, 2017.

A police cordon in place around an address in Blythway, Welwyn Garden City, in August 2017.A police cordon in place around an address in Blythway, Welwyn Garden City, in August 2017.

The fourth matter, engaging in controlling/coercive behaviour in an intimate/family relationship, to which Henry pleaded not guilty, was put on file.

He was jailed for a total of 28 months for engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour in an intimate, family relationship, and sentenced to eight weeks for racially/religiously aggravated common assault/beating, which will be served concurrently.

He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120.

Major Crime Unit Detective Sergeant Laurence Rush said: “The abuse that this victim suffered under Henry had been going on for many years, and very tragically, in her last moments she was abused and assaulted by Henry.

“Domestic abuse is not just about violence.

“Coercive and controlling behaviour is a crime too and our investigation and ultimately the jail sentence given to Henry shows how seriously it is taken by the law.”

Anyone affected by domestic abuse in Hertfordshire can get guidance and support via the Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline 08 088 088 088 or by visiting the Herts Sunflower website www.HertsSunflower.org.

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