Hitchin man, 26, jailed after abusing ex-partner in ‘year of terror’

Reece Haynes has been jailed for three years after pleading guilty to coercive and controlling behav

Reece Haynes has been jailed for three years after pleading guilty to coercive and controlling behaviour. Picture: Cambs Police - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin man has been jailed for three years after subjecting his ex-partner to a “year of terror”.

Reece Haynes, 26, of Sunnyside Road, threatened the woman daily – including the use of knives, smashing up her house and throwing fireworks at both her and her child.

He pleaded guilty to coercive and controlling behaviour, possession of a class B drug and breaching a restraining order at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday, with the court handing out a no contact restraining order of five years.

Haynes was also disqualified from driving for two years after pleading guilty to driving without a license or insurance.

Back in October 2017, he was given a five-year restraining order, but between February and December last year, the 26-year-old threatened and attacked the victim – who was living in Cambridge.

The abuse began when Haynes sent his ex-partner a Facebook friend request before turning up at her house and not leaving, taking the spare keys and threatening to smash the door down if the locks were changed.

He would stay most weeks but leave at weekends, only allowing the woman to leave the house with his permission.

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The court heard that the victim was too terrified to call the police and how, on one occasion, Haynes threatened to beat up a friend she had called for help, before strangling her until she apologised.

In June last year, he threatened to stab both the victim and her friend – arming himself with a knife, after they said they were going to buy some food.

A month later, Haynes left the house for three to four weeks, but would still regularly threaten his ex-partner over the phone, telling her someone was watching the house.

On November 5 – Bonfire Night – he threw a firework at her, her child and her friend, with the victim then locking Haynes out of the house.

He was let back in after banging a garden chair against the door and proceeded to slap her twice around the head and poke her leg with a knife.

Also in November, the 26-year-old slapped her in the face after she asked him to leave the house.

The victim told police that when she told Haynes she no longer loved him, he ripped a door off its hinges and broke a glass chopping board while she was out buying milk.

When she returned home she asked him to leave. He ripped the bedroom door off its hinges and then left.

On November 23, the court heard how Haynes let himself into the woman’s house with a key he had stolen before creeping into bed with her.

He left the following morning, driving a Ford Focus without insurance or a license and was arrested when pulled over by police.

Later that day, the victim realised Haynes had taken her bank card before receiving a text from him saying “prepare for the madness”.

She reported him to the police and he was arrested. He was seen hiding cannabis under his sofa by officers.

Haynes denied all offences and told police that he hadn’t seen the woman since 2017.

He did accept the driving charges, telling officers he “doesn’t like walking”.

DC Luke Whatford said: “Haynes subjected his ex-partner to nearly a year of terror. No person should have to suffer this kind of abuse and I would like to applaud her bravery in coming forward.”

For advice and support on domestic abuse visit cambs.police.uk/information-and-services/Domestic-abuse/Domestic-abuse.

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