First person in Thames Valley convicted of controlling or coercive behaviour - Maidenhead


A man appeared at Reading Crown Court on 11 July 2016, and was found guilty of controlling or coercive behaviour and jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Steven Strong, aged 25, of no fixed abode in Maidenhead, was sentenced after being found guilty of the offence, following a 4-day trial.

The controlling or coercive behaviour occurred between 30 December 2015 and 28 March 2016, against a 23-year-old woman in Maidenhead.

This is the first prosecution in the Thames Valley for the relatively new criminal offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship under Section 76 (1) of the Serious Crime Act 2015, which came into force on 29 December 2015.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "Domestic abuse can have a devastating impact on the lives of victims and the CPS is committed to robustly and effectively prosecuting such offences. The nature of the controlling or coercive behaviour offence is such that it is often very difficult for victims to report their abuse to the police as they may feel frightened of the consequences if they do. My message to victims is clear - if you feel you are a victim of this kind of controlling or coercive behaviour, or any other kind of domestic abuse, then please come forward and, with the police, we will do everything we can to bring offenders to justice."

Designated case investigator, Caithrin Roche from the Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit, said: "Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten the victim. Thames Valley Police will take action to protect victims of such behaviour and prosecute offenders in court. The conviction and sentencing of Strong shows how seriously this offence is taken and I hope it encourages other victims of domestic abuse, including non-physical abuse, to come forward and speak to us and our partners and get the support and protection they need."

Additional information:

  • Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.
  • Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.