Jail for Leighton Buzzard abuser who made partner feel terrified in her own home

Victim was physically and verbally attacked, denied food, had possessions broken, and saw pet dog treated cruelly too

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 10:27 am

A man from Leighton Buzzard has been sentenced to 20 months in prison, after admitting to abusive behaviour which caused his partner to feel unsafe in her own home.

Mark Jakeman, 41, of Brooklands Drive, was sentenced on Friday (March 26) at Luton Crown Court after pleading guilty to engaging in coercive and controlling behaviour, actual bodily harm (ABH) and criminal damage.

In a sustained campaign of abuse over their 18 month relationship, Jakeman hit and pushed her many times, causing injuries and bruising which she felt compelled to hide from her friends and family, from whom she became isolated, and was continually verbally abusive, denying her food, breaking her possessions, and throwing things at her. He was also cruel to her beloved dog, knowing this would cause her much distress.

Mark Jakeman

On January 7, after enduring an “unbearable period” of constant physical and mental abuse, fuelled by alcohol and Jakeman’s anger during the Christmas and New Year period, she broke down at work and confided in colleagues who called the police.

Jakeman initially denied the charges, but pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 20 months in jail, and also made the subject of a 10-year restraining order.

Speaking to officers from Beds Police's Emerald team, his ex-partner said: “I cannot believe that a person can do that to someone that they are supposed to love.

“The abuse was slow to start with and I couldn’t recognise what he was doing to me. In time it got worse, and then so bad that I was terrified in my home. I was constantly on edge and worrying.

“I was such a happy, bubbly person, but since being in a relationship with him, my self-esteem hit rock bottom. He used to put me down all the time and would constantly insult me; it made me feel worthless and not good enough.

“I didn’t tell anyone because I felt ashamed, and only feel safe now because he’s locked away and I know that he can’t hurt me.”

Detective Constable Leila Dales, of the force’s Emerald team, said: “Jakeman subjected his partner to a constant campaign of daily abuse in which he hurt her, wore her down, and isolated her, before she found the courage to seek help.

“Domestic abuse, in any form, is unacceptable and we know how hard it is for people to tell anyone what is happening to them.

“We are committed to bringing perpetrators to justice and dedicated to providing support for victims. We would ask that you come forward so that we can investigate, and put offenders like Jakeman behind bars.”

Bedfordshire Police would also like to reassure those experiencing abuse that despite the pandemic, support is still available, and together with partner agencies, will continue to investigate and share information on how to make a report and to find help.

To report domestic abuse, call police on 101, or visit a participating pharmacy and ask for “ANI”. If someone is in immediate danger, call 999.

Alternatively, you can call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Victims of domestic abuse can also contact Signpost for free and confidential support, whether the abuse has been reported or not.

Signpost’s experienced staff and volunteers know what emotions and challenges victims may be going through. They are specially trained to listen and give help and advice.

Often just talking to someone, especially one who is not family or a friend, can help victims, or those affected, make sense of what has happened and find a way to help cope and recover.

They can provide a safe, neutral place for victims to voice their fears, worries and emotions. Their emotional support is confidential and non-judgemental. They also work with a range of specialist organisations and community support groups and can make referrals to help victims on their journey.

For further information or to get in contact visit www.signpostforbedfordshire.com■ We understand that some people may be angry or upset to see their name published here but covering court cases acts as a deterrent against crime and it is important that justice is being seen to be done.

Under English Law, it is a general principle that criminal court proceedings for adults should be held openly and in public. Verdicts and sentences are normally given out in open court and so are in the public domain. Newspapers/websites such as ours therefore have the right to publish outcomes of all such criminal court cases.

You can read more about what to expect if you have appeared in court on the IPSO website HERE