Jail for Rugby man who subjected his wife to years of brutish behaviour
A Rugby man who subjected his beleaguered wife to years of ‘nasty, mean-spirited and brutish behaviour’ has had his reign of terror ended by a judge.
Car mechanic Peter Hill had denied charges of assault, using controlling and coercive behaviour, burglary and breaching a non-molestation order.
Hill (48) of Lodge Road, Rugby, was jailed for a total of five years after being found guilty of all four charges following a trial at Warwick Crown Court.
Prosecutor Cathlyn Orchard had told the jury: “This case concerns physical and emotional abuse within a relationship.”
She said Hill met his future wife when she was 17, and they were married for 16 years and had three children.
But the marriage had been characterised by Hill’s drug-taking, his affairs, and his jealous and controlling behaviour.
“On a number of occasions she left with her children and sought refuge from him with family members and, on one occasion, in a women’s refuge.
“She had to get medical treatment for injuries, and the police were involved on occasions, but she never followed through with any complaint until she had finally had enough and contacted the police in August 2017.”
During one assault in the summer of 2007 he grabbed her by the throat and threw her across the kitchen, causing her to fall against a car seat in which their young son was sitting.
In 2016 she had gone to Hill’s work premises in Boughton Road to clean the inside of a car, when he got angry about her being there, grabbed a bottle of cleaning product and sprayed it into her eyes, shouting at her to get out.
She left and went to her parents’ home, where her father put drops in her eyes, which were swollen and weeping.
They were going to take her to the doctor’s, but Hill turned up and, after demanding to see her, took her to hospital and remained with her so she could not reveal what had happened.
Hill claimed he was never violent towards her and had not caused any damage in her home – but that was rejected by the jury.
Jonathan Veasey-Pugh, defending, said that Hill, whose father had been shot dead and who had suffered physical abuse at the hands of his mother, had now started a new life in Hungary, but had returned for the trial.
Jailing Hill, Judge Peter Cooke said the assault, which had caused his wife to suffer a suspected fractured coccyx, was aggravated by the fact that it took place in front of one of their children and involved her being thrown against the car seat containing their youngest child.
And of Hill’s controlling and coercive behaviour, Judge Cooke told him: “Both in terms of culpability and harm, this case possesses a number of higher culpability characteristics.
“It was conduct of a character calculated to maximise fear and distress, and was over a protracted period of time. It was all about humiliating and degrading Clare as well as controlling her.
“You were the only love of her life, and yet you treated her in this shameful way. Your nasty, mean-spirited and brutish behaviour terrorised this family for a decade-and-a-half.”