28th Jun, 2022

Controlling bully dictated what girlfriend could eat, when she went out and her make-up

A violent and bullying Coventry man had such control over his partner that she could not go anywhere without him, and had to hand over her benefit payments to him.

Johnnie Jefferiss regularly assaulted her, and dictated how much she ate and when she could wear makeup – which was usually to cover the bruises he had caused.

Eventually the police because involved, and Jefferiss (22) of Flint Avenue, Allesley Village, Coventry, was jailed for two years and eight months by a judge at Warwick Crown Court.

He had pleaded guilty to using controlling and coercive behaviour towards his 20-year-old victim, and a further charge of assaulting her was allowed to lie on the court file.

Prosecutor Russell Pyne said the couple had met when the young woman was living at the Gateway hostel in Coventry and sometimes buying drugs from Jefferiss.

He quickly showed his controlling nature by insisting that she stop living there, give up her dog and move in with him.

Once she had done so, she was not allowed to go anywhere without him, and requests to be allowed to see a friend would lead to arguments.

“There was also financial control. She would withdraw her benefit money and have to hand it to the defendant, so she rarely had any money left for herself.”

Jefferiss would tell her how much to eat, telling her he wanted her to be fat so she would not go with anyone else.

“He would not let her wear makeup unless he told her to do so, usually to cover bruises he had caused, and she would have to stay awake at night until he was ready for bed.”

A month into the relationship, the violence began with him punching her to her legs, and after that, he would routinely punch and kick her.

Each time it would end with him sending her messages of apology, saying it would not happen again – but it did.

On one occasion an ex-boyfriend sent her an innocent message on Instagram, which led to Jefferiss hitting her to the face, causing a black eye and a bleeding lip, and grabbing her round the throat.

He then made her stay indoors until her injuries had healed, said Mr Pyne.

On another occasion he kneed her between the legs when she tried to leave the room because of his aggressive behaviour towards her.

Eventually, she could take no more, and the police became involved at the beginning of May, and Jefferiss was arrested.

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