Sheffield man jailed for subjecting former partner to 'sustained' campaign of 'torture'

A Sheffield man who subjected his former girlfriend to ‘sustained torture’ by beating her regularly and forcing her to sleep on the floor naked has been jailed.

Thursday, 5th September 2019, 6:24 pm

When Leroy Nzvere, 20, first entered into a relationship with his former partner he treated her ‘like a princess’ but things soon turned sour, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

After an argument at a friend’s house, Nzvere hit her for the first time, and struck her with what prosecutor, Simon Reevell, described as a ‘full force punch’ to the jaw.

He then proceeded to hit her again, after becoming angry when a friend attempted to intervene in the attack.

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Leroy Nzvere, 20, has been jailed for four years for two counts of greivous bodily harm and two counts of controlling and coercive behaviour, all of which were carried out against his former partner.

“She wanted to go to the doctors but he would not allow her to in case she was asked about how she got the injuries. She was bruised and unable to talk for a number of days,” said Mr Reevell.

Judge Peter Kelson QC said this incident ‘set the tone’ for how ‘terribly wrong’ their relationship would become.

The court heard how Nzvere and his partner both had ‘difficulties’ with their respective families, and she ended up staying with him for five months at a hostel he had been given a place at – despite the fact he was not allowed to have guests.

Mr Reevell told the court that for the first three months of her stay, Nzvere would not allow her out of the room, forced her to sleep on the floor and subjected her to regular beatings.

“She repeatedly sustained black eyes, she had to endure this kind of behaviour, and was made to sleep on the floor naked. Sometimes on a stone floor,” he said.

The court was told how on one occasion Nzvere strangled the young woman with such force she was knocked unconscious, and he initially believed he had killed her.

The young woman was given a place at a separate hostel after she was found to be living in Nzvere’s room, and the pair subsequently ended their relationship.

He subjected her to a final beating during a party at a friend’s house, after accosting her and demanding to see the text messages on her phone because he believed she had a new boyfriend.

In a statement read out in court, the young woman said the ‘mental, emotional and physical’ abuse inflicted by Nzvere continues to have a ‘detrimental impact’ on her life.

“I have a fear of the dark as he would often turn the lights off before he would attack me. I have flashbacks to the attacks which took place in the dark,” said the woman, adding that she has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression following her relationship with Nzvere and is also believed to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Nzvere pleaded guilty to two counts of inflicting grievous bodily harm and two counts of controlling and coercive behaviour, all of which were carried out between March 2017 and July 2018, on the first day of his scheduled trial.

Francis Edusei, defending, said that while the young woman was only 15-years-old when she entered into their relationship, he was only a year older and was ‘himself also quite young’.

“He accepts that his behaviour was appalling and has had a considerable amount of time on remand to reflect on his behaviour,” said Mr Edusei.

Continuing his mitigation, Mr Edusei said the young woman ‘sought to rely’ on him when she stayed at the hostel.

Judge Kelson jailed Nzvere for four years for the ‘sustained torture’ he subjected his former partner to, and granted an indefinite restraining order.

He said: “Your barrister said your victim had substantial difficulties at home and sought to rely on you, but that does not serve you in mitigation. She was absolutely at your mercy, she had nowhere to go, and you exploited that, whether consciously or unconsciously.”