A man who systematically stalked and harassed his ex-partner is now starting an 18-month prison sentence, following investigations by detectives in Sussex and South London who used a recently introduced law which makes stalking a specific offence.
Kevin Rainbow, 28, of Evelyn Street, Deptford, South London, appeared for sentencing by Her Honour Judge Barnes at Lewes Crown Court on Friday April 4, having pleaded guilty at previous hearings to stalking, harassment, criminal damage and common assault.
Her Honour Judge Shani Barnes also imposed a Restraining Order for an indefinite period on Rainbow, which prohibits him from contacting his ex- partner or her family other than through solicitors on any access issues relating to their two small children.
His 31-year old partner had the courage to leave him and to contact police in London where they had lived together for five years, following his increasingly controlling and abusive behaviour towards her, culminating in his striking her on January 4.
Rainbow was then charged with harassment, common assault and criminal damage and was granted court bail in London on conditions which prohibited his contacting her.
But he continually contacted her and tried to see her at her place of work. While police were searching for him over this clear breach of his bail conditions, his ex-partner went to Sussex to stay with her parents in Rusper, where she felt safe for a short while.
However on the evening on January 27, his ex-partner was outside the house when she spotted Rainbow sitting in her parked car with the interior light on. She ran back towards the house but he chased and caught her, his actions halted only by the intervention of her father who managed to get her indoors.
Rainbow continued to lurk around outside and police were immediately called but he was nowhere to be seen when they arrived. As they were taking statements from the family a sound was heard from upstairs. Officers rushed upstairs and found Rainbow hiding under his ex-partner’s bed.
In sentencing, Judge Barnes said: ”I consider you to be a dangerous individual and suggest that you present a high risk of further harm, both physical and emotional, to your ex-partner. You clearly would not accept the end of the relationship. Your actions are those of a desperate man. As described in the pre-sentence report you are a predator who is both relentless and manipulative in your actions, You have made the life of your ex-partner a misery and have terrorised your in-laws”.
Detective Constable Stuart Macpherson of the West Sussex Adult Protection Team said, “This was a frightening series of events, in which Rainbow clearly showed very manipulative and abusive behaviour towards a woman who initially trusted him but eventually became terrified of him. What he would have done if we had not found him under that bed can only be guessed at.
“We were able to use an amendment to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 which makes stalking involving fear of violence or serious harm or distress a specific offence. to help bring him to justice, working with colleagues in the Metropolitan Police and with the assistance of the local authority and agencies specialising in the support of people who suffer domestic abuse.
“It sends another signal that we take all such reports seriously. You don’t have to put up with this kind of behaviour. We will take every step we can to safeguard victims and achieve justice for them. We can also help access a wide range of counselling and support services for them.”
“Worth Services, the Independent Service which supports people affected by domestic abuse in West Sussex, worked particularly closely with us, and were instrumental in achieving this outcome for the victim through their support for her.”
If you want to talk to the police dial 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or in an emergency dial 999 at any time.
If you don’t want to talk to the police, talk to someone. These organisations can also help:
The 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 - http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/
West Sussex - WORTH on 0330 222 8181 http://www.worthservices.org/
Brighton & Hove - RISE helpline on 01273622822 http://www.riseuk.org.uk/
East Sussex Domestic Abuse Service on 0844 225 0657
Broken Rainbow - LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline 0n 0300 999 5426 - http://www.brokenrainbow.org.uk/
Men’s Action Line on 0808 801 0327 - http://www.mensadviceline.org.uk/