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Support for Victims and Witnesses

Being a victim or a witness to a crime is not easy, but, with your help, we work hard to bring offenders to justice. Throughout the justice process we will support you and treat you with dignity.

The aim of witness care units is to provide a single point of contact for Victims and Witnesses, minimising the stress of attending court and keeping  victims and witnesses up to date with any news in a way that is convenient to them.

Witnesses are essential to successful prosecutions and we are committed to making the process as straightforward as we can.

Read the fact sheet about witness care units

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Man sentenced for controlling or coercive behaviour


Sam Williams has been sentenced for offences including controlling or coercive behaviour.

Williams, 28, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship. He also pleaded guilty to assault by beating and two counts of criminal damage to property valued under £5,000.

Lorraine Anson, reviewing lawyer at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Sam Williams subjected his victim to controlling and coercive behaviour. He rarely allowed the victim to go out alone but when she did he would keep track of where she had gone, including making her keep parking receipts.

"He continuously belittled the victim and made her believe she needed only him, pushing her family and friends away. He checked her social media accounts and phone messages, and controlled her appearance by telling her what to wear and changing her hairstyle. After one argument Sam Williams physically assaulted the victim who escaped and called the police.

"This behaviour is sadly recognisable as being controlling and coercive. When one person holds more power than the other and creates fear around breaking someone else's rules, it can strip people of their independence. This is exactly the behaviour that the offence of controlling and coercive behaviour aims to target and eradicate".

Sentencing details:

  • Controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship - 18 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with a Community Order for 18 months.
  • Assault by beating - 18 weeks imprisonment concurrent, suspended for 18 months.
  • Two counts of criminal damage to property valued under £5,000 ordered to pay costs.


Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk and visit our official News Brief -
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  4. At 31 March 2015 we employed a workforce of approximately 5,895 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2,255 prosecutors and 3,288 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  5. The CPS, together with police representatives (formerly ACPO) and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.