Man jailed for 25 years for rape and coercive and controlling behaviour
A serial abuser has been jailed for 25 years for subjecting women to years of mental, physical and sexual abuse.
Steven Blades, 53, was found guilty of one count of threat to kill, two counts of grievous bodily harm, seven counts of actual bodily harm, one count of indecent assault, two counts of rape, one count of child cruelty and one count of coercive and controlling behaviour. He was sentenced today at Stockport Crown Nightingale Court.
Blades was a serial abuser who subjected his victims to years of torment and sexual violence. He would repeatedly rape and attack his victims, leaving them with multiple injuries including black eyes and bruises.
As well as physical and sexual violence, Blades was also a master manipulator and emotionally blackmailed both of his victims in order to control every aspect of their lives. He isolated them from friends and family, so they were unable to escape or seek help.
He physically abused one of his victims by hitting her with a broom, putting cigarettes out on her face, breaking her nose, knocking out a tooth and throwing her against a wall. He then did not allow her to go the hospital to see a doctor about her injuries.
He bought the other victim a phone contract that she did not need so that he could keep tabs on her and would bombard throughout the day with phone calls to check up on her. He insisted she should wear ‘age-appropriate’ clothes and style her hair in a way acceptable to him.
Blades also forced the second victim to make all her calls on loud speaker so he could monitor her conversations. He prevented her from seeing her friends or going to the gym where she might interact with other men.
A campaign of physical, sexual and emotional abuse allowed Blades to maintain control over his victims by isolating them from friends and family. He was extremely possessive and jealous and would manipulate his victims by threatening to kill or hurt them.
Blades’s obsessive need to know what his victims were doing at all times instilled in them a fear for their safety and lives. He was able to hold women hostage through his abuse that permeated all aspects of their lives.
Sophie Rozdolskyj, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the North West Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said: “Steven Blades is an extremely dangerous man who has used every form of torture to terrify and control women over many years.
“His unspeakable acts of violence and cruelty are some of the worst I have ever encountered. He caused them serious physical and psychological harm by putting out cigarettes on them and raping them. He also isolated them from their families and caused them to doubt their own minds.
“We would like to pay tribute to the bravery of the women he abused for coming forward and supporting this prosecution. Their actions as survivors of this sadistic man will keep many others safe. We hope today’s sentence makes it clear that the passage of time will not stop us from bringing offenders to justice and ensuring they receive the punishment they richly deserve.”
The Crown Prosecution Service takes cases involving violence against women girls including rape and serious sexual offences extremely seriously. We are determined to do all we can to deliver justice for all and to provide victims with the greatest possible protection from repeat offending.
Domestic abuse is an abhorrent crime that has no place in our society. At the CPS, we are committed to seeking justice for victims of domestic abuse – prosecuting perpetrators whenever possible and securing protective orders against them.
Notes to editors
- Steven Blades was guilty of one count of threat to kill, two counts of grievous bodily harm, seven counts of actual bodily harm, one count of indecent assault, two counts of rape, one count of child cruelty and one count of coercive and controlling behaviour.
- He was sentenced today to 25 years in prison at Stockport Nightingale Crown Court
- Sophie Rozdolskyj is Senior Crown Prosecutor for the North West and Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit.
- Our Domestic Abuse Best Practice framework sets out measures that are in place for victims to support them through the prosecution process, including support from
- Independent Domestic Violence Advisers and pre-trial court visits. As well as the use of special measures such as giving evidence from behind a screen, or via a remote video link.
- We have recently updated our Domestic Abuse legal guidance to reflect changes in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, and are working on further updates to give investigators and prosecutors the tools they need to build the strongest case possible, including understanding the impact of trauma and tackling damaging myths and stereotypes.