Prolific abuser who broke victim's nose and humiliated her in front of her kids is jailed
- Credit: Herts police
A 'manipulative' abuser who tormented his ex-wife after he broke her nose, whipped her with chains and pushed her head down the toilet in front of her kids, has been jailed.
Alan Tippett, 52, of Milestone Road in Hitchin, was jailed for four years and three months at Huntingdon Crown Court on Tuesday, March 16.
He was convicted of coercive and controlling behaviour and two counts of actual bodily harm against ex-wife Clare Ashton, with presiding Judge Grey also granting an unlimited restraining order.
The court heard how Tippett has tormented his wife for more than half a decade, after the abusive relationship began 11 years ago.
On December 5, 2010, Tippett had punched Clare while the pair were in bed, breaking her nose in front of her two children.
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But the physical abuse didn't stop there - Tippett threw a table at Clare in May, 2015, causing her "significant injuries".
He whipped his ex-wife with metal chains, and even pushed her head down the toilet in front of her kids. Her daughter, in evidence, recalled the bruising on her mother's arms.
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The pair had a son together, around the same time that the abuse turned into severe emotional and psychological damage.
During her darkest days, Clare said she felt "worthless" and couldn't even look at herself in the mirror.
“I felt like nothing, I had no future and I was numb," she explained.
"He had worn me down so much, I couldn’t even think for myself.
"I became so ill that doctors thought I’d burst a blood vessel but it was exhaustion from the constant feeling of always being in the wrong and feeling so worthless."
With her physical and mental health suffering dramatically and her daughter now being on the receiving end of Tippetts’ emotional abuse, Clare knew she had to take drastic action.
While Tippett was out of the house, she was forced to hide her belongings in a wheelie bin so she could flee to safety with their son and her two older children.
And in 2018, she first approached the police about her ex-husband's behaviour.
Clare was put in touch with Detective Constable Natalia Allodi-Robertson, who was the investigating officer from Herts police's domestic abuse investigation safeguarding unit, and an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor who between them supported Clare emotionally, practically and throughout the criminal justice process.
In his summarising comments, Judge Grey told Tippett that he had a "ferocious temper" and that he "dominated and controlled the relationship".
“You treated Clare as your property on multiple occasions.
"When she angered you, or when you felt the need to put her down and enforce your control, you were capable of using deeply unpleasant violence.
"That is the most disgusting, demeaning and contemptible way to treat anyone, let along someone you purported to love.
“As well as the violence, you spent years demeaning and belittling Clare, crushing her confidence and her sense of self-worth.
"It would have been hard enough for her to maintain friendships from her time in the north, living so far away, but you took steps to ensure that it was almost impossible.
“Even on the night that before the two of you married, you would not let her spend the night away with her bridesmaids as she wished.
"That would have involved a loosening of your control over Ms Ashton that you could not tolerate.
"You had also installed a camera in the living room, quite plainly in my judgment so she knew that she was being watched.
“Your evidence was some of the most manipulative and duplicitous evidence I’ve ever seen, you are a thoroughly dishonest and manipulative man."
DC Allodi-Robertson said: “Clare has been incredibly brave by telling her story to help others having gone through such a traumatic experience.
"She and her children gave overwhelming evidence which meant the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on all counts.
“There were times when we thought she would not support the investigation because of how badly she had been broken down emotionally by Tippett, but the most important thing from our point of view was to safeguard Clare and keep Tippett away from her.
"I hope it will empower more women, like Clare, to come forward and have a voice, because we will listen, and we will do everything we can, working closely with other specialist partner agencies, to bring abusers before the courts to account for their inhumane actions.”
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, call 0300 790 6772 for advice and support during week day office hours.
In an emergency, call 999. If you are not able to speak, call 999 from a mobile and press 5 and 5.
Help and support is also available from the Sunflower Centre at hertssunflower.org.