Barnsley woman who subjected partner to 3 years of domestic abuse is sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court

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The defendant's partner was hospitalised following one of many violent injuries, and sought to hide his wounds from those around him.

A woman who subjected her partner to a three-year campaign of escalating violence, abuse and degrading insults has been given a suspended sentence, after a Sheffield judge deemed her to have a 'realistic prospect of rehabilitation'. 

Sheffield Crown Court heard how after being subjected to years of coercive and controlling behaviour at the hands of the defendant, Emma Moss, the complainant stopped socialising; spent less time with his children and avoided going into the office so his colleagues would not see the physical harm she had caused. 

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Summarising Moss’ pattern of criminal behaviour, which spanned numerous incidents taking place between June 2018 and June 2021, the judge, Recorder Angrahad Davies, said: “I’m told you fell pregnant very soon after you entered into a relationship [with the complainant]. After you had your son, you began to be violent towards the complainant. 

Emma Moss was sentenced during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court on August 29, 2023Emma Moss was sentenced during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court on August 29, 2023
Emma Moss was sentenced during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court on August 29, 2023

“He tells the court that he avoided seeing other people…I’m told he had visible injuries as a result of you kicking, punching and headbutting him. 

“I’m told that in September 2020 you grabbed his clothing, causing him to fall backwards and injure his back. The back injury caused him to suffer a contusion to his chest, serious enough to require painkillers of a hospital level and to require to stay in hospital for a number of days. For days he tried to hide his injury, and lie about how it was caused. After that you escalated your assaults on him, using weapons.”

Prosecutor, Adam Walker, told an August 29, 2023 sentencing hearing that a wine bottle was among the weapons Moss, aged 40, used on the complainant, striking him to the head with it. 

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Describing the ‘controlling’ elements of Moss’ offending, Mr Walker said Moss would force the complainant to give her ‘access’ to his social media accounts by demanding that he had over his devices. 

Mr Walker continued: “She would limit his movements by making constant allegations of infidelity to the point that he would only go out to go out to work.”

On one occasion when the complainant went to spend time with his adult son and his girlfriend, Moss called the couple demanding to speak to him; and when they passed the phone to him, she was overheard being ‘abusive and belittling,’ the court heard. 

Mr Walker said Moss, of Parish Road, Royston, Barnsley carried out her final physical assault on the complainant on June 21, 2021, after he made the decision to end the relationship, and following a few days away, returned to the family home. 

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Moss seemingly took exception to seeing the complainant in new clothes, Mr Walker said, adding that the defendant subsequently unleashed an attack on the complainant, during which she punched him to the face, and continued to violently assault him after he fell to the floor. 

After managing to escape, the complainant finally decided to report Moss to the police, and after being examined, he was found to have suffered bruising to his left cheek, and a ‘small wound’ to his left ear and left cheek, the court heard. 

Mr Walker suggested, however, that the true physical impact of the assault was greater than it may have appeared, and said his adult son described seeing him with torn clothing, blood coming from his ear, along with a ‘white discharge’. 

While the complainant initially provided details of Moss’ criminality to the police, he has declined to give a victim personal statement to the court and also does not wish to apply for a restraining order, the court heard. 

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Moss, who previously had a clean criminal record, initially sought to deny any wrongdoing during her police interview, but subsequently entered a guilty plea to a single charge of controlling and coercive behaviour. 

Defending, Gordon Aspinall said that prior to this offending, Moss was someone with an ‘unblemished’ character, and that the ‘problems started’ after she began to abuse alcohol. 

Mr Aspinall suggested both Moss and the complainant were both drinking in ‘ever increasing quantities’.

“As the relationship went on, the unfortunate result is that Ms Moss became more upset and was the more violent of the two, when in drink,” Mr Aspinall said. 

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He told the court that Moss is now attempting to address, and seek help for, her issues with alcohol. 

“She looks back on how she acted with horror, and realises, now, that there has to be and can only be, one way forward,” Mr Aspinall said, and told the court Moss has three children she is responsible for. 

Sentencing Moss, Recorder Davies said: “The fact you are [previously] of good character, and have shown sufficient remorse significantly reduces the seriousness of this offence.”

She continued by saying she recognises the work that Moss has done, and is seemingly motivated to continue with, in addressing her alcohol issues and noted the caring responsibilities she has for her three children. 

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Judging Moss to have a realistic prospect of rehabilitation, Recorder Davies sentenced her to 20 months’ custody, suspended for two years, and ordered her to complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days. 

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