Man walks free after six month campaign of controlling behavior and assault on his autistic girlfriend - then tells police it was her fault

A man has been spared jail after subjecting his autistic girlfriend to a six month campaign of controlling behavior, assault, threats to burn her home down while her family were inside and then told police he was the victim.

Friday, 29th October 2021, 9:52 am

Kyle Howson, 22, appeared at Leeds Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday) for sentencing after originally denying the cases, telling police he had been controlled and eventually pleading guilty in September while preparations for a trial to be held next year were being made.

Becky Jane, prosecuting outlined the details of the case to the court which heard that Howson and the victim had been in a relationship, which was fine for the first six months, but changed from May 2020 when the victim started taking her sister to her sister's boyfriend's house.

Howson, of Lisheen Avenue, Castleford became jealous and started accusing his girlfriend of sleeping with other men and said the couple should use Snap map, an app which allows them to track each other's locations. She reluctantly agreed and between May and December 2020 he had sent the victim 40 screen shots of her location, sometimes three times per day asking her why she was there and accusing her of cheating.

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Leeds Crown Court.

He would demand to know her movements and charge her money if she turned up late, question why she was visiting family members and demanded she choose between them and him.

Ms Jane added that Howson would call her "fat", "disgusting" and make remarks about her autism diagnosis, he threatened to burn down her house while her family were in it and threatened to kick her down the stairs to get rid of her baby and said he would pay someone to do it.

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On December 12, the victim's birthday, they had a day out at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. He had challenged her again about why she had been to her sister's boyfriend's house on the way. Later that night she woke to find the defendant deleting screenshots of abusive messages he had sent her and when she asked him about it he subjected her to a 15 minute assault.

He threw a can of Lucozade over her, pushed her on the bed, hit her on the side of the head with a clenched fist, bit and spat at her. Afterwards he told her, "that was not even my hardest".

Two weeks later on December 27 a very similar attack occurred where he poured the can of pop over her head then started hitting her with the empty can and bit her on the forehead. The next morning he wouldn't let her leave and bit her on the hand.

When he eventually let her leave, she told her mother and aunt about the assaults and they called the police.

Howson was arrested and the victim was treated at hospital for swelling and bruising.

In police interview on December 29, Howson said his girlfriend was controlling and denied the assaults saying he had to push her off him, said she was checking on his location and even when showed pictures of the injuries he denied knowledge.

Giles Garnet Grant, defending, said Howson was a young man with no previous convictions, seemed to have evidence of remorse and had issues around insecurity trust and immaturity.

Judge Neil Clark said: "You had been in a relationship with your victim, she was vulnerable and it seems fairly clear that you became possessive and controlling of her. In essence there are two or three instances of assault. Neverthless, that is part and parcel of controlling, possessive, threatening and violent behaviour. None of that is acceptable and it is exceptionally serious."

He gave Howson a 12 month jail term which was suspended for two years, 30 days of Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days, a three month curfew that is applicable between 6pm and 4.30am and a restraining order which stated Howson must not directly or indirectly contact the victim or go within 500 metres of a specified address in Castleford.

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