“I have had to buy a new car and change my appearance…I have had to put cameras in my house and in my car.”
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A man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison after subjecting his ex-partner to a campaign of stalking and domestic abuse.
David Peters, 37, of Nightingale Crescent, Bracknell, was sentenced to two years and eight months imprisonment for coercive and controlling behaviour and stalking with serious alarm and distress at Guildford Crown Court on Friday, 23 June.
Peters is also subject to a ten-year restraining order, which restricts him having any contact with his ex-partner or her family members, entering the area they reside in, or attending anywhere he reasonably believes them to be.
Over the course of their six-month relationship, Peters waged a campaign of coercive and controlling behaviour against his partner. When she tried to end the relationship, he refused to accept her decision and began stalking her instead. We have included extracts from her victim personal statement below, where she describes life with him as “a living hell”:
“David made it clear that I had nothing and would have nothing but him and he was the only one I could rely on…”
“He would go through social media and pick out comments I wrote years ago questioning me asking who they were and why I was commenting things on their posts…”
“No matter what I said it was the wrong answer, and David only hears what David wants to hear…Every day was a new argument…”
“He would wear me down so much that I didn’t even recognise myself…when I was with David, I stopped being me.”
In July 2022, the survivor ended the relationship for good, but this only escalated Peters’ behaviour. Unable to accept their breakup, he broke into his ex-partner’s house on numerous occasions, which was caught on cameras she had installed. On one occasion she even found him hiding in her daughter’s bed. Peters also called her repeatedly, texted her throughout the day commenting on her appearance even he shouldn’t have been able to see her, sat outside her house overnight, and tracked her car.
Even being arrested didn’t stop Peters, who breached his bail conditions just five days after being arrested and charged.
The judge who handed down the sentence last week commented on how troubling the stalking was, and how “plain the serious alarm and distress caused to her was and the substantial adverse effect on her”. Although Peters had no previous convictions, the judge was convinced that “these offences are so serious that only custody is appropriate.”
Investigating Officer, Emily Nurcombe said “The survivor in this case has been extremely brave in coming forward and supporting the investigation for almost a year from the time Peters was arrested and charged to the time that he was sentenced. I commend her for having the courage and strength to speak out and ensure that Peters was brought to justice for the obsessive and frightening behaviour he has subjected her too.
I hope this sentence and restraining order will go some way in providing closure to the survivor in this case, and I would personally like to thank her for her resilience. Cases of domestic abuse are taken seriously in Surrey, and Surrey Police are committed to combatting both physical and physiological domestic abuse, bringing perpetrators to justice, and safeguarding their victims”.