Violent boyfriend jailed after attacks on women in East Devon

PUBLISHED: 15:00 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 18:01 13 March 2020

Christopher Cripps

Christopher Cripps

Archant

A violent boyfriend has been jailed for attacks on two different partners.

Christopher Cripps, from Seaton, humiliated and terrorised the two women and subjected them to a series of attacks.

The first victim has been diagnosed with PTSD and the second took a fatal overdose on the day before she was due to give evidence against Cripps at Exeter Crown Court.

He became violent and controlling after moving in with the women at their homes in East Devon in different years.

The first victim used her phone to record 90 different episodes of abuse or violence including attacks in which he hit her, spat at her and urinated on her.

He told her he would kill her family if she went to the police.

The second victim had a much shorter relationship with him which she ended because of his drunkenness and violence.

She threw him out of her home but he broke in through a window before pinning her to a sofa while she was on the phone to the police in a 999 call.

The victim could be heard screaming for help in both the call and footage captured by the police on body worn cameras.

Cripps denied battery and sexual assault and the case was due to be tried at Exeter Crown Court on January 6.

She died of an overdose the day before and the charge of sexual assault was later dropped.

Cripps, also known as Mayhead, aged 37, of Harbour Road, Seaton, admitted controlling and coercive behaviour in relation to the first victim and battery against the second.

He was jailed for two years and 11 months by Judge David Evans, who made an indefinite restraining order forbidding any contact with the first victim.

He told him: 'You assaulted her on a number of occasions. In October 2018, you threatened her with a hammer and she fled the property for the last time and was signed off work by her GP with PTSD.

'There is ample evidence that you caused fear and distress with multiple methods of control and that you intimidated and humiliated her.'

The judge said the attack on the second victim was aggravated by the fact he broke into her home and attacked her while she was on the phone to the police.

William Parkhill, defending, said Cripps now understands that his behaviour was incredibly inappropriate and has been shocked by the death of the second complainant.

He said: 'It has been a stark reminder to him of how his behaviour can affect others. He feels genuine remorse and takes his share of responsibility.'

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