Homeless man jailed for assaulting and controlling girlfriend
A homeless man who repeatedly assaulted his girlfriend and controlled her during their relationship has been jailed for five and a half years.
Jordan Clarke, 23, of no fixed address, was found guilty of using controlling and coercive behaviour and two counts of assault by beating.
A jury at Ipswich Crown Court found him not guilty of one count of assault by beating.
The court previously heard that the couple's relationship started in October last year and, although it was initially good, it had deteriorated by January this year when Clarke started being violent towards her.
His girlfriend told the court that she started to lose consciousness in one incident after he squeezed her throat in a tent in Saxmundham.
She said that she had feared for her life during the assault while they were sleeping rough in Rookery Wood.
At two earlier hearings this year on March 13 and September 5 respectively, Clarke was convicted of two further charges of malicious communications and witness intimidation.
The witness intimidation related to Clarke threatening the father of his girlfriend via messages on Facebook, telling him to drop the charges.
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He was sentenced for all those charges on Wednesday by Judge Martyn Levett.
Clarke, who was due to appear via video link, did not attend his sentence.
Sentencing Clarke, Judge Levett said: "I am perfectly satisfied in this case that the defendant has a nasty streak which he justified by verbally manipulating everyone in his path.
"I take the view that the defendant was blaming everyone else when it was the fault of the defendant.
"Gaslighting is a common theme in coercive and controlling behaviour cases.
"It was persistent and continuous over a period of five to six months before the police got involved."
Clarke was sentenced to one year for malicious communications, two years for witness intimidation and two and half years for controlling and coercive behaviour to run consecutively.
For the two assault by beating charges, he was sentenced to four months each, which will run concurrently.
Clarke was also issued with a five-year restraining order.