Man left wife an 'emotional wreck' after controlling behaviour, court hears

Lawrence Bugeja admitted controlling and coercive behaviour and criminal damage at Ipswich Crown Court.

Lawrence Bugeja admitted controlling and coercive behaviour and criminal damage at Ipswich Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

A jealous man who left his Kesgrave wife an “emotional wreck” after accusing her of having an affair and bombarding her with texts and phone calls after they split up has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Sentencing Lawrence Bugeja, who worked at Felixstowe Docks, Recorder Graham Huston said: “You developed an extreme jealousy of your wife. 

“You believed she was having an affair with her personal trainer and your jealousy manifested itself in you demanding to know about every detail and every moment of her life.”

He said that even after she went to the police and he was banned from contacting her he continued to send her messages and had gone to her address at night and damaged a camera on her front door.

The judge said 34-year-old Bugeja had spent the equivalent of a 15 month sentence in custody and his wife would be best protected from him if he was given a suspended sentence with conditions.

Bugeja admitted controlling and coercive behaviour and criminal damage.

He was given a 21-month prison sentence suspended for two years and an 18 month GPS monitored exclusion from streets near his wife’s Kesgrave home.

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Bugeja, of East Canny Cottages, Chelmsford, was also ordered to attend a  Building Better Relationships programme and given a 50 day rehabilitation requirement.

He was also banned from contacting his wife until further notice and banned from going to her place of work.

Nicola May, prosecuting, said the couple had been married for eight years before the relationship broke down in May last year.

In August 2020 Bugeja’s wife was advised to join a gym because of a medical issue and he had accused her of going there to see other men.

He had also constantly texted and called her while she was out and demanded to know where she was and who she was with.

He had also driven her to places when she went out as a way of checking what she was doing and had controlled their finances, said Miss May.

After the end of the relationship he said he couldn’t live without her and had bombarded her with messages and calls and left her feeling like a prisoner in her home.

In an impact statement Bugeja’s wife said he had turned her into an emotional wreck and had made her paranoid and unable to go to work.

Simon Gladwell for  Bugeja said his client had obsessional personality traits and was remorseful.