Abusive boyfriend stubbed out cigarette on ex’s neck and kicked her in the face

An abusive boyfriend stubbed out his cigarettes on his girlfriend’s neck, poured bleach on her and kicked her in the face in what has been described as a "disgusting" display of abuse, a court heard.

Ryan Barr, known as Romeo, met his victim on a night out in February 2018 and as the relationship developed quickly, Barr asked her to move in with him.

During the abuse, which lasted months, the 24-year-old reportedly hit the dog they shared and made his victim watch, spat at her, and bit her.

He also "made her take out a number of loans," understood to have totalled over £5,000, and when the relationship ended "bombarded" his victim with a mix of apologetic and abusive texts.

Prosecuting, Louise McCloskey, said the abuse begun once the woman agreed to become his girlfriend as Barr would become "aggressive and drink," reports the Liverpool Echo.

She told Liverpool Crown Court: "The defendant would become aggressive in drink, call her names such as 'slag', spit on her and throw things around. This behaviour then began to develop even when the defendant was not in drink.

"He would also hit their dog that they shared and make her watch."

Ms McCloskey said the victim described being "hit with a hairbrush or remote control, having her hair pulled, him stubbing out cigarettes on her back or her neck when she was asleep, and an occasion when bleach was poured on her and she described it taking days to remove the smell from her body".

The final attack came on July 4, 2018, when the victim went to a nightclub in Liverpool and the defendant "spat at her and bit her jaw".

Barr was finally interviewed by police in October 2018 and January 2019, where he accepted arguing, but denied any physical or emotional abuse.

His victim said she was previously confident, with close friends and family, but was "isolated" from both by Barr and lost her confidence.

Ms McCloskey said: "She is still coming to terms with the financial difficulties that this defendant has left her in and obviously feels like she is a different person than she was before."

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Carmel Wilde, defending, said Barr accepted he would be sentenced on the prosecution case, but noted there were "elements of minimisation".

Judge Menary said there was a "comprehensive denial," which he said was "not very impressive" as he has "comprehensively lied to the Probation Service".

Ms Wilde said Barr realised he needed help and his guilty pleas spared his victim having to give evidence at a trial, she also noted "trauma" he experienced as a child.

She said jailing him would "do nothing to address the risk of future offending" and the report found his community order had a "positive effect" in the two years since, meaning there was "a realistic prospect of rehabilitation".

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Judge Menary said some of the violence was "particularly nasty" and Barr was "jealous for no good reason," which led to "abusive, threatening and violent," behaviour.

He said: "Much of the relationship was marked by appalling and disgraceful behaviour on your part. You were overbearing towards her, abusive, threatening, violent.

"You abused her financially in terms of taking out unnecessary and excessive loans, which plainly she has now been saddled with.

"The aggression and violence towards her was at times particularly unpleasant, involving for example stubbing a cigarette on her neck, or pouring bleach on her."

Judge Menary said Barr's behaviour needed to be further addressed by the Probation Service, adding: "What they've done is already bearing fruit. I hope that carries on."

He handed Barr 15 months in jail, suspended for 18 months, a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 150 hours of unpaid work.

The judge ordered him to pay £500 in compensation to the victim and imposed a two-year restraining order.

If you have been affected by issues of domestic violence or coercive control you can call Refuge's 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free. The number is 0808 2000 247

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