London – A possessive boyfriend pressed his sleeping fiancee’s thumb on to her iPhone to unlock it and check if she was dating other men, a court heard.
Alexander Heavens, 24, waited until Stacey Booth nodded off before gaining access to texts and emails.
He would put Booth’s thumb on the iPhone’s home button, which uses fingerprint-recognition technology as a security measure. After checking the phone, he would wake her up to interrogate her throughout the night as to who everyone was, a judge was told.
He also demanded the pin code to view her messages at other times, and during rows he bit her on the arm, bent her fingers back and punched her.
Manchester Crown Court heard the couple were together for six years but drug-addled Heavens, of Failsworth, near Oldham, subjected her to increasing abuse.
Booth, 24, who works for a funeral company, told how she had feared she would be killed, and her colleagues and family would end up arranging her own funeral.
She said she lost weight due to her ordeal and would lie waiting for birdsong at the end of each night to let her know she could escape and go to work.
She became so convinced she would end up dead that she started making secret recordings of her fiance’s nightly activity. She said: "I used to record him towards the end because I felt like no one would believe me. That’s what helped me get him into the courtroom."
Too terrified to even tell her family, she made excuses to avoid showing them her scars and bruises, including keeping her coat on as she ate Christmas dinner with her mother.
The court was told the relationship soured in Christmas 2016 after Heavens developed bouts of paranoia because of his cocaine use.
He admitted a charge of engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour. Prosecutor Rob Smith said: "He started taking his anger out on (Booth) and was paranoid about her actions. The first incident in 2016, the defendant became angry because she was spending time with her family rather than him. He kept arguing with her about it until he bit her and bruised her upper arm.
"His behaviour worsened, particularly when he alleged that she had been with other men. During arguments, he began bending her fingers back so far that she thought they were going to break.
"When she was asleep he would grab her finger and use it to unlock her phone."
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