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Folkestone man is jailed Five Years for coercive and controlling behaviour

A Folkestone man who claimed his former partner’s injuries were caused by play fighting or a fall from a bike has been jailed for five years. Lance Colston, of Marine Parade, denied coercive and controlling behaviour, three counts of assault and two counts of criminal damage but was found guilty of all six offences following a four day trial at Canterbury Crown Court which began on Monday 2 July 2018. On Friday 6 July 2018 the 34-year-old was sentenced to five years in prison by Recorder Edmund Burge. When Colston’s victim turned up at Folkestone Police Station on 13 November 2017 to report a number of assaults by him, she had bruising all over her body. She told officers the first assault happened some time in October 2017 when he head-butted her and knocked her back towards a wall. During the second assault, on 24 October 2017, Colston grabbed her by the throat, pinned her against the wall and head-butted her. He then swung his arm across dishes on the kitchen counter, smashing them to the floor, and threw her mobile phone at her, causing it to smash, before punching her in the face. The most recent assault occurred on 10 November 2017 after Colston demanded that the victim transfer money into his account. When she told him she couldn’t, he became abusive towards her and began punching and kicking her as she curled up on the sofa, leaving her with substantial bruising. The following Monday she managed to go to the police station to report the offences while Colston was out. He was arrested the following day. When the victim returned home she found that the house had been ransacked and numerous items, including the bannisters, had been broken. Shattered glass and kitchen appliances lay across the kitchen floor, televisions had been knocked over and smashed, a gaming console had been broken and an oil-like substance had been smeared on the plug sockets. Investigating officer Police Constable Jamie Schofield said: ‘During their relationship Colston became increasingly paranoid, jealous and abusive. He read the victim’s text messages and controlled the amount of time she spent out of the house. If she was late back he would accuse her of being with another man. He also controlled what she wore and forced her to transfer money into his account. ‘Although he admitted in police interviews that he could be jealous, Colston denied coercive and controlling behaviour, the three assaults and the two counts of criminal damage. ‘When he was shown photographs of her injuries he claimed they had been caused by play fighting or her falling off her bicycle. He claimed the dog may have knocked over the television but couldn’t account for the other damage.’ PC Schofield urged victims of domestic abuse to report offences: ‘Victims may feel frightened, isolated and ashamed but they are not to blame for what is happening and should never suffer in silence. ‘I hope Colston’s five year prison sentence sends a strong message to perpetrators that domestic abuse will not be tolerated.’

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