‘Vile’ abuser beat up girlfriend, took her wages and limited access to food

A man who subjected his girlfriend to a campaign of violent and controlling abuse has been jailed.

Alexander Smith-Sturgess (24) was living with the victim in their St Neots home when concerned neighbours heard screaming and called police at about 11pm on June 13.

Alexander Smith-Sturgess

Alexander Smith-Sturgess

Officers arrived and spoke to the couple who claimed they had just been arguing about money.

The following day the victim spoke to a friend and revealed how Smith-Sturgess had been increasingly abusive at home.

As she discussed Smith-Sturgess’ behaviour she removed her makeup to reveal bruising on her face.

She told the friend how he had subjected her to degrading treatment, including taking her wages and limiting her access to food.

When asked if she had any other bruising, the victim replied: “Yes, I hurt all over.” She pulled back her hair to reveal marks on her neck and showed the friend where she had missing patches of hair that had been pulled from her head by Smith-Sturgess.

Smith-Sturgess, of Samuel Jones Crescent, was arrested on June 22 and released on bail with the condition not to contact the victim or her family.

Less than a week later he visited the home of the victim’s parents. The victim’s father met him at the door and called the police, prompting Smith-Sturgess to flee. He was arrested the following day.

At court Smith-Sturgess admitted two counts of assault occasioning actually bodily harm, common assault and controlling and coercive behaviour over a 12 month period.

He was sentenced to three years in prison.

PC Andrea Farnes said: “Smith-Sturgess’ actions were nothing short of vile and I would like to applaud the bravery the victim has shown throughout this investigation.

“She has been forced to endure unspeakable acts of cruelty from someone she loved and trusted. I hope this sentence gives her the space she needs to move on with her life.”

Polixw would strongly urge anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse to contact police on 101 or call the national domestic violence helpline on 0808 2000 247. For more advice and support on domestic abuse, visit www.cambs.police.uk/domesticabuse.