A man who threatened to kill his girlfriend by crashing his van into a wall in a jealous rage has been jailed for four years.
Pete Stainton, 30, drove his victim across Hull and East Yorkshire for four hours after finding out she had a one night stand and took intimate pictures of herself while he was in prison.
He threatened to crash the vehicle into a wall and called her names such as “slag, whore and hooker”, driving as far as Bridlington before eventually returning her to Hull.
After his arrest, he sent a recorded message to the victim threatening to “shame her in public” if she didn’t retract her statement.
The couple were not together while Stainton was in prison but reconciled their four-year on and off again relationship after he was released in February this year.
His girlfriend admitted she had a one night stand with another man while Stainton was inside, but kept the intimate pictures hidden from him.
Jealous behaviour went to another level over photos
Prosecuting at Hull Crown Court, Glenn Parsons said Stainton was “incensed” when told about the one-night stand, “calling her all the names under the sun”.
But his jealous and aggressive behaviour was only exacerbated on April 2 when he found out about the intimate photographs.
Mr Parsons said: “[The victim] went to her mother’s house and the defendant showed up in his van. He phoned [the victim] saying he had the photos and said he would show them to her mother.
“He threatened to petrol bomb the mother’s house.”
At around 6.45pm that night the victim left her mother’s home but as she was walking down the street she got a terrifying phone call from Stainton, where he said: “Look behind you, you silly c***.”
Stainton began driving his van at her before slamming the brakes. He then stopped beside her and told her to get into the van or he would post the photos, which he pretended to have, all over social media.
The victim got in and Stainton drove towards Beverley, telling the victim 'there is no point in putting your seatbelt on. We are going through a brick wall.'
Mr Parsons said: “The complainant didn’t know what was going to happen. She was in fear for her life.”
As the van stopped at a set of traffic lights in Beverley, she attempted to make a run for it and started banging on the windows of nearby shops in tears.
But Stainton continued his threats to post the images and she got back into the van, before he drove towards Bridlington.
When his victim begged him to take her home he told her ‘don’t worry, you’re not going home’.
Desperate attempt to call police
Stainton pulled over at a lay-by near Bridlington and told her to get out before driving off, leaving her stranded in the dark night and pouring rain.
She attempted to call the police and managed to get through to an officer but Stainton returned and wrestled the phone from her.
Mr Parsons said: “At one stage the defendant can be heard within that recording telling her to get back in the van and said he would leave her there.
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“[The victim] got back in but not before ringing her mum who could hear the defendant on the line and [the victim] saying she was somewhere but thought near Bridlington and then the phone went dead.
“The defendant assaulted her by grabbing her in a bear hug and wrestling her to get the phone from her hand. He told her to get back into the van or he would leave her there stranded in the lay-by.”
Stainton eventually drove the victim back to Hull and dropped her off in a street just after 10pm, ending a terrifying four-hour ordeal.
He was arrested and remanded in custody shortly after, but two days later a recorded conversation from a friend of Stainton's was sent to the victim on Whatsapp where he says she ‘[she] needs to sort things out otherwise everyone will know about the photos’.
Mr Parsons said: “[The victim] took that to mean that if she didn’t retract her statement he [Stainton] was going to shame her in public by showing these photos.”
In a statement, the victim told the court that Stainton made her feel that he was going to end her life and that after five months since the incident she feels “more damaged than ever” and "finding it difficult to move on".
Mr Parsons said: “She has nightmares as a result of that incident. She feels as though it has changed her life and her as a person.
“She is constantly looking over her shoulder and any van that passes she feels it maybe the defendant seeking retribution.”
'This was a traumatic experience'
Stainton admitted charges of threats to kill, common assault and witness intimidation.
Sentencing him to four years imprisonment, Judge Mark Bury told him his actions were “totally irrational”.
He said: “She told you about the one night stand but didn’t tell you about the photos that had been taken.
"It was something she was entitled to do as you were not in a relationship but you found out about the photos and then on April 2 you challenged her about it and then behaved totally irrationally.
“You drove her around and you threatened to kill her and it was obvious that the way in which you might carry out that threat was in the way you were driving."
“You were arrested quite soon after and were remanded in custody. The next day you were on the phone to your friend planning to say things which he would record and play back to [the victim]. In my judgement, that witness intimidation was an insidious and very mean offence.
“It is hardly surprising that this was such a traumatic experience.”
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