Wigan man handcuffed partner to bed so she wouldn't stray

A 'controlling' boyfriend handcuffed his partner to the bed so she wouldn't be tempted to stray, magistrates were told.

Thursday, 21st June 2018, 11:01 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th June 2018, 12:08 pm
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

John McLaughlin, 32, also had a black box and camera fitted to her car so he could keep track of her movements, the Wigan and Leigh court heard.

Police uncovered McLaughlin’s behaviour when they were called to deal with a domestic violence incident on June 9.

And magistrates have ruled his conduct was so serious that their sentencing powers were insufficient and he should be dealt with by a crown court judge.

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McLaughlin, formerly of Manning Avenue, Springfield, but now of Runshaw Avenue, Appley Bridge, admitted to charges of assaulting his girlfriend and engaging in controlling or coercive behaviour between January 1 and June 9.

He was bailed to attend a sentencing hearing at Bolton Crown Court on July 16, on condition he does not approach his victim.

Andrew Martin, prosecuting, said the defendant and victim had been out drinking, on June 9, with her sister and his partner, when the couples clashed.

An argument is then said to have erupted over McLaughlin’s “controlling” attitude.

In return, he accused his partner of being unfaithful but as she tried to leave he pushed her to the floor, then thrust his head against hers, causing a small cut, the court heard.

Mr Martin said she tried to leave the house again but McLaughlin made a grab for her and caused her to fall against a wall near the front door.

She then managed to get back into the house and alert the police. She tried to flee again but returned to the property and attempted to shut the door.

McLaughlin managed to intercept her though and hit her over the head with a can of beer, before pouring alcohol over her, the court heard.

Mr Martin said that the police on the scene arrived shortly afterwards and the defendant was arrested.

He told the court that details then emerged of how controlling McLaughlin had been.

His victim ended up telling police how she had often been handcuffed to their bed overnight, so she could not leave.

Mr Martin said he had also fitted a black box device and camera to her car, so he could continue to monitor her movements, while she was out.

McLaughlin had also taken to sniffing her underwear, to check that she was not being unfaithful.

He also threatened to report her to social services - “to take her daughter away” - if she considered leaving him.

She also says that he blackmailed her, on occasion, to keep her under his thumb.

The court heard the defendant had a conviction from 2013 and 2009 for assault and a third offence in 2004.

Bill Pearson, defending McLaughlin, said there were no submissions he intended to make if magistrates felt that the case was going to be committed for sentence.

No application was made to magistrates for a restraining order but the courts can consider making a compensation order when the matter is eventually resolved.