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Controlling and Coercive Behaviour challenged

Controlling and coercive behaviour legislation

Controlling and coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship is an offence created under Section 76 Serious Crime Act 2015. It has a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.

As this offence falls under the domestic abuse umbrella, the Code for Crown Prosecutions states “given the seriousness of Domestic Abuse offending, a prosecution will normally be required when the evidential requirements under the Code are met.”

Sentencing guidelines for the offence can be found here.

Our client’s case

One of our clients was charged with the offence of controlling and coercive behaviour.  He denied the allegation.  Unfortunately, despite our best efforts before the Magistrates’ Court he was remanded into prison custody pending his trial at the Crown Court.

Fortunately the allegation did not reach trial.  This was due to the expertise and persistency of Solicitor Advocate Denney Lau and  Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor Chloe Wright.

Chloe visited our client in prison.  She obtained detailed instruction from him.  These included the whole history of the relationship, his detailed version of events and details of defence witnesses.

From taking instructions it was revealed that our client had been receiving letters in prison from a ‘relative’.  It was in fact the complainant who was the author of the letters.  The false name had been used in order to bypass the prison checks.

Defence witnesses seen

Chloe contacted the defence witness on behalf of our client.  They  provided her with screenshots of messages that confirmed the origin of the letters.  They were also able to show that the complainant had also transferred money into our client’s prison account.  Signed statements were obtained confirming this detail.

We were then in a position to make representations to the Crown Prosecution Service regarding the credibility of the complainant and therefore whether there was a realistic prospect of conviction.  The prosecution were persuaded that the prosecution should not proceed.

As a result the case was brought forward into the Court list.  The prosecution offered no evidence.  The Judge entered a formal not guilty verdict, concluding the case and releasing our client.

This case perhaps clearly sets out the benefits of early case preparation.  Rather than wait for trial, we secured our client’s discharge from the proceedings at the earliest opportunity.

controlling and coercive behaviour solicitor

Instruct an expert in controlling and coercive behaviour allegations

Seeking legal advice at the earliest opportunity will allow us to provide advice to you about the law and the evidence in either a police investigation or a prosecution.

If you are arrested or know that the police wish to speak to you about any criminal allegation make sure you insist on your right to free and independent legal advice.  We will be present in your interview to advise through the investigation stage.

The advantages of such early advice legal advice can be found here.


If you have already been interviewed or face court proceedings we can still make a real difference to the outcome of your case as set out above.

Legal aid may well be available to fund your defence at court.


We have offices across the East Midlands and will happily travel across the country to provide representation for all types of offences.

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Alternatively you can use the contact form below.


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