Between 1 March and 9 September 2019, Nathan Bishop subjected his victim to repeated and systematic mental and emotional abuse, as he sought to control everything she did.
Bishop, of Catlyn Close, East Malling put the victim in fear of violence if she failed to comply with his demands. He moved into the victim’s home without her consent, shortly after their relationship started, and quickly took control of her finances leaving her in debt. Bishop would forbid her from wearing make-up and insist on choosing what clothing she wore if they went out to socialise.
The victim was so frightened she started to use a secret code when speaking to friends and family on her phone, to indicate if she was free to talk. Bishop regularly checked the device and blocked callers he didn’t like or approve of.
The abuse was reported to Kent Police in July 2019. While the allegations were being investigated, Bishop contacted the victim and made threats to kill her relatives. He was arrested on 8 September and later charged with coercive or controlling behaviour in an intimate relationship. Bishop was also charged with six breaches of a non-molestation order.
Appearing at Maidstone Crown Court, Bishop, aged 28, pleaded guilty. On 26 November 2020, he was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment and also made subject of a restraining order, lasting ten years.
Investigating officer, DC Ben Broad of Kent Police’s Vulnerability Investigation Team said: ‘People like Bishop make victims’ lives a misery. He has used fear and threats of violence to exert control over almost every aspect of her life. Even after the victim tried to end their relationship Bishop continued to harass and stalk her, repeatedly turning up uninvited at her home and sending persistent messages to her phone. I’m pleased the courts have passed a custodial sentence and I would like to thank the victim who has bravely assisted our investigation and helped ensure Bishop has been brought to justice.
‘Domestic abuse is a priority for Kent Police and I would encourage anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation or relationship to report it to someone and get help. There is a range of support and information available, just phone us or ask a trusted friend or relative to do it. Nobody should feel they don’t have the option to walk away from domestic abuse.’