Sarah Rigby: Violent mother banned lover from using toilet, taunted him over sex and made him eat toothpaste

Josh White Daily Mail
Sarah Rigby.
Camera IconSarah Rigby. Credit: Supplied/Facebook

A student nurse bullied her boyfriend over his weight, hair, sex drive and even his breath in ‘the worst case of controlling and coercive behaviour’ detectives had seen.

Mother-of-six Sarah Rigby, 41, forced her partner Gareth Jones, an NHS project manager, to restrict his diet, wear a hat to cover his baldness when in public, and even eat toothpaste.

During their abusive six month relationship, the student nurse taunted Mr Jones, 40, over his sexual performance and threatened:

‘If I’m not pregnant this month, I am going to find someone else to have sex with.’

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She also banned him from using their toilet, forcing him to go to a local library or pubs. At Chester Crown Court, Mr Jones bravely told how he was driven to the brink of suicide by the abuse, as Rigby finally admitted coercive behaviour.

She was given a 20-month jail sentence suspended for two years and banned from contacting him or his parents for five years under a restraining order.

Sarah Rigby was given a 20-month jail sentence suspended for two years.
Camera IconSarah Rigby was given a 20-month jail sentence suspended for two years. Credit: Sarah Rigby/Facebook

Detectives praised Mr Jones for having the ‘courage to speak out’ after he detailed being ‘nervous about telling people what has happened to me, due to the stigma behind males not being seen as victims of domestic abuse’.

Mr Jones would be ‘frisked’ by Rigby before leaving the nighthouse and would also have to forfeit his £4,000-a-month wage, the court heard. In one row Mr Jones was hit in the face by a glass candle holder, leaving him with a scarred nose.

Mr Jones, who moved in with Rigby after meeting on the dating app Plenty of Fish, was also thrown out of her house in Winsford, Cheshire, while dressed only in his underwear.

He gave up his flat in Crewe to move in with Rigby but prosecutor Frances Willmott said: ‘By the autumn she told Mr Jones he had to lose weight if he was to stay in a relationship with her.

‘She would restrict what Mr Jones ate when out and if he ate anything more substantial than a salad [she] would be verbally abusive.

‘If Mr Jones ate while away from Ms Rigby she would refuse to come near him and say that he smelt of onion or garlic. She would insist Mr Jones swallowed toothpaste and drank mouthwash.

Gareth Jones.
Camera IconGareth Jones. Credit: Supplied/Facebook

‘Even when Mr Jones lost a significant amount of weight Ms Rigby was still abusive about his appearance.’

She further detailed: ‘She accused him of being a nightmare to live with, said he had poor habits and did not let him use the toilet in the house, insisting he went to the toilet at the library or the pub.

‘She would let Mr Jones shower only every few days and not change his clothes, yet would also tell Mr Jones that he smelt.’

In mitigation, defence counsel Jade Tufail said Rigby had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder due to an undisclosed ‘trauma’ she suffered in her childhood.

But recorder Eric Lamb told Rigby: ‘Your conduct has led to a substantial detrimental effect upon Mr Jones, who even today when speaking of the impact of the relationship upon him was plainly close to tears, and in great distress.

‘There were multiple methods of controlling or coercive behaviour intended to humiliate and degrade him.’

Following last week’s sentencing, Cheshire Constabulary’s Detective Constable Sophie Ward said: ‘This the worst case of controlling and coercive behaviour I have ever seen.

‘While the victim will never be able to forget what happened to him, I hope that the conclusion of this case will help him to move forward and start to rebuild his life.’

DC Ward added: ‘Many people think that only women can be victims of controlling and coercive behaviour but, as this case demonstrates, that is not always the case and there is help available.’

Mr Jones told the court he was now so haunted by his experiences he kept minimal possessions and would have a ‘grab bag’ with him containing a toothbrush, washing products and a towel at all times. He said: ‘I felt degraded as Sarah used to try and intimidate me and ridicule my manhood regularly.

‘I had regular bruising on my body from when Sarah used to kick, bite, scratch or claw me. ‘I do not feel I can trust another woman at present. When I am out in public and I see someone with the same hairstyle and colour of Sarah’s, I become scared.

‘I think I will always be emotional ly scarred by the effects of the abuse that I’ve suffered.’

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