Man Jailed For Mentally Abusing Vulnerable, Elderly Wakefield Woman

Thursday March 8, 2018

A Wakefield District man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for controlling and mentally abusing a vulnerable and elderly woman.

Daniel Sowerby (46) from Outwood was sentenced to two years, three months at Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday March 7, after pleading guilty to coercive and controlling behaviour.

He was also subject to an indefinite restraining order preventing him from contacting his victim.

Sowerby was arrested in January this year after residents reported concerns about an elderly neighbour.

Following his arrest he was charged within 24 hours with the coercive and controlling offence.

Coercive and controlling behaviour itself became an offence in December 2015 and gives powers to the authorities to bring prosecutions for psychological abuse, closing the gap in the law around patterns of such behaviour.

Controlling acts may include, but not be exclusive to, manipulation, intimidation, and psychological abuse. The behaviour is intended to make a person become submissive, or to isolate them from sources of support, such as their friends and family.

It might include monitoring their time, or communication with others, including checking someone’s mobile phone or online communication.

The offence carries a maximum 5 year prison sentence and a fine

Detective Inspector Dan Tillett of Wakefield District CID, said: “Sowerby subjected his elderly victim to genuine emotional trauma and behaved in a fashion which many of us would find completely abhorrent.

“I am pleased he pleaded guilty to spare her the ordeal of a trial and welcome the custodial sentence and restraining order imposed by the judge.

“We are determined to make use of all legislation available to us to protect victims of domestic abuse, and the coercive control powers are an effective bespoke tool in tackling an insidious and truly horrible crime.

“Our message is simple, if you are being abused or you suspect someone is being abused, report it immediately. We have a range of services and partners ready to support any victims and tackle offending.

"If you are a victim, or know someone who could be a victim you can speak to police, or other agencies that can help. You can contact police via 101, in an emergency always call 999.

"For more information and a list of organisations who can help visit "

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