Follow Sussex Police Media Centre

Man sentenced for offences against two women in Southwick and Portslade

News   •   Feb 20, 2019 12:11 GMT

A man who abused two women when they were in relationships with him has been given prison sentences totalling three years and four months.

Sam Bridgeham, 33, a building labourer, of Wallhouse Road, Erith, South East London, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Friday 4 February.

He had pleaded guilty to coercive and controlling behaviour in an intimate relationship with a Southwick woman in her early forties, and had also been found to have breached on four occasions a court-issued non-molestation which ordered him to stay away from a Portslade woman in her early forties.

Bridgeham was given a sentence of 25 months for the coercive control offence and 15 months for breaching the non-molestation order.

He was also given a four-year Restraining Order prohibiting him from contact with the victim of his coercive and controlling behaviour.

He pleaded not guilty to a charge of causing actual bodily harm to the Southwick victim which was not proceeded with at court and will lay on the court file.

Detective Constable Greg Brown of Worthing Investigations said; "Bridgeham gradually increased the emotional pressure on his then-partner, starting off by calling her abusive names and constantly criticising her; then he monitored her phone calls and social media; asked her to take pictures and send them to him to confirm her location; messaged her friends to monitor where she was; put on a fake accent and made threatening phone calls to her family; made fake calls to police to get them to attend her address in the middle of the night; sent numerous calls and messages from withheld or new numbers; left flowers at her door, refusing to accept the relationship was over; he made her feel like she was crazy and badly damaged her relationship with her family.

"Eventually, in June 2018, after yet another series of distressing incidents in their home, she terminated the relationship and has had the courage which we very much admire, to see through his prosecution.

"This case illustrates the impact that this type of vicious behaviour can have on the victim in the long term, degrading self-esteem with the potential to make the victim a shell of their former self. In this case the victim said that for a long time her whole life was spent trying to please Bridgeham.

His conduct in continuing to molest a previous partner in defiance of a court order not to do so, additionally shows that this type of behaviour is not isolated as far as he is concerned.

"But this case also shows that you do not need to suffer in silence. Help is at hand if you contact us. We can investigate and can also ensure you have protection and access to specialist sources of advice and support.

"If you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship like this, contact us at any time online or by calling 101, and arrange to talk in confidence to experienced detectives. But if you are feeling threatened or are in fear now, call 999."

For sources of further information and advice about domestic abuse see the Sussex Police website.

                                                       -------------------------------------------

Ref: SXP54240/2019
Author: Tim Mahony

IMAGE LICENSING NOTE: The image provided remains the property of Sussex Police.

It is provided for the explicit purpose of journalistic coverage and commentary, in the public interest, in relation to the sentencing of the featured person.

You are granted limited licence to use the material for this purpose for 90 days from the date it is provided. You may also re-distribute it for this purpose at zero cost to the receiver, provided it is clearly marked as belonging to Sussex Police and this notice remains.

You may include our material as part of a wider package of journalistic content that is paid for by the receiver – for example a court report or feature article – provided that the material owned by Sussex Police is clearly marked as such, this notice remains and our material is supplemented by content of additional value produced by you.

Re-distribution of this material for profit in breach of the terms above, use for any purpose other than that expressed above or archiving of this material for future use is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Sussex Police.

Requests for use outside of these terms should be sent to media.hq@sussex.pnn.police.uk.