'He put his wife through hell': Violent Leeds dad treated wife as 'slave' during years of degrading physical and emotional abuse

Leeds Crown Court heard how Bhavnit Gokani subjected his wife to years of degrading physical and psychological abuse.
Leeds Crown Court heard how Bhavnit Gokani subjected his wife to years of degrading physical and psychological abuse.
Have your say

A dad subjected his wife to years of degrading violent and psychological abuse as he treated her as a 'slave' at their family home in Leeds.

Bhavnit Gokani also left his wife of 15 years heavily in debt after he took out loans in her name to fund his gambling addiction.

A court heard how Gokani, 40, assaulted the mother of their two children on repeated occasions and humiliated her if she did not cook and clean to his standards.

Prosecutor Danielle Gilmour told Leeds Crown Court of the years of mental and physical abuse the victim was subjected to.

Gokani's controlling behaviour started after he "isolated" his wife from their family and friends.

Miss Gilmour said: "He made her clean the house in a certain and specific way and if it was not to his standard he would pull items onto the floor and make her clean them up again.

"He made her clean all day and in to the night until he was satisfied."

On one occasion he smashed up her jewellery box because he was angry that she had left a hair clip inside it.

Read more: Sniggering carjackers threatened woman with gun before crashing into tree in armed police chase
Gokani was violent towards her on many occasions. He would punch her in the head until "her ears were ringing".

Miss Gilmour said: "He would lash out at her when they were in the car together. He would then hit her again for making a noise."

Gokani would also throw his food across the room if she did not prepare it to his standards.

The woman was also forced to lay out his clothes in a specific way every day.

Miss Gilmour said that when the victim ever threatened to leave Gokani he told her that he would make sure she would lose her children if she ever did.

The court heard Gokani also controlled the woman financially.

When she was made redundant from work he told her she could not get another job.

Gokani, a gambling addict, also accrued debts in the victim's name.

She remains heavily in debt as a result of being coerced into taking out loans on his behalf.

Miss Gilmour said: "He often told her that she had to do what he told her to do if she wanted to be a good wife.

"He indicated that she was incapable of thinking and that he would do it for her."

Read more: Leeds benefit cheat hid her marriage from authorities to illegally claim almost £40K
Gokani was arrested when the woman contacted police after one assault in which he threw toilet rolls at her.

While he was being questioned in custody she left the family home with their two children.

When Gokani was released he went to a house where the woman was staying with her friend and posted a letter threatening to cause trouble for her.

The prosecutor said: "He said he had reactivated her mobile phone as an 'act of good faith' and that she should add him as a friend on Facebook."

Gokani, of Easterly Crescent, Gipton, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate of family relationship.

The offending took place between December 2015 and August 2018.

A victim impact statement was read to the court on the women's behalf.

She described how she continues to receive treatment for anxiety and depression as a result of Gokani's behaviour towards her.

The woman also described how she had once tried to start her own business but Gokani became critical and she felt like she had to give it up.

The court heard Gokani had worked in the financial services sector for 22 years but was currently unemployed.

Probation officer Kerry Wilson told the court Gokani was now considering becoming a self-employed financial consultant.

Read more: Yorkshire paedophile sexually abused eight-year-old girl after avoiding child porn prison sentence
Michael Morley, mitigating, said: "He reflects now and accepts that he put his wife through hell.

"There is no other way to describe it.

"He is a very changed man having had time to reflect."

The barrister said Gokani was part of a group helping him to address his problems.

Mr Morley added: "He only has himself to blame and he knows that.

"He is someone who is desperate to get to grips with his recognised problems."

Judge Penelope Belcher told Gokani: "You treated her as a slave."

"I find it astonishing that anybody could treat their wife this way.

"Someone who is meant to be you life partner.

"Someone you are supposed to cherish and love."

Gokani was given a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He was ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and take part in a 40-day rehabilitation programme.

The Judge told Gokani why she was not sending him immediately to prison.

She said: "My primary reason for doing so is those children.

"However appalling this behaviour, their future will be determined by having a relationship with both parents."