United Kingdom

Former soldier, 30, jailed for terrorising teenage lover by pouring corrosive liquid over head

Lorry driver Stephen Williams, 30, was jailed for two years for terrorising his teenage lover

A former soldier who terrorised his teenager lover by pouring corrosive liquid over her head and stabbing her with a pen has been jailed for two years. 

Lorry driver Stephen Williams, 30, forced the girl, who was 18 at the time, to quit her hairdressing job because of his jealous rages, Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court was told. 

But when, as he demanded, she went to live with him in his cab, he subjected her to ongoing humiliations, the court heard. 

Williams, from Bury, Lancashire, had already demanded that she shun her friends locally and cut off ties with her family, say prosecutors.

Gavin Howie, prosecuting, said the victim even recalled how, when she commented on how a new haircut for her young brother made him look 'cute', he became incensed. 

One incident came when Williams drove with the teen to a business where he was picking up a container he began questioning her about former partners. 

Arming himself with a knife, which he held to her throat, he said: 'Do you think I won't slice your throat? 'Cause I will.' 

The court heard he also poured a corrosive substance, used to clean the underside of lorries, over her head and then laughed at her discomfort. 

Shortly afterwards he also stabbed her in the arm with a pen. He then refused to let her go, even when she had an asthma attack. 

Another flashpoint came outside her mother's home days later, when his victim told him she wanted to end their partnership, the court heard. 

Williams punched her in the face and kicked her as she cowered in the footwell of his car. 

He then sped off in the vehicle, said Mr Howie. 

He told her during the journey: 'That's it now. You're dead. I'm taking you to a field and you're dead.

"And then I'm going to come back and I'm gonna get your mum and sister and then I'll save your little brother till last."

Mr Howie said Williams bent her fingers back, causing ligament damage, before taking her back to her mother's house. 

Williams told her the relationship was over and threatened his victim, that if she ever formed a new one, he would kill her and any new partner. 

The defendant later handed himself in at Bury police station after complaints were filed about his behaviour. 

He claimed to officers his young partner had a cocaine addiction and the only times he had ever been violent towards her was in self-defence. 

One of his former partners was approached by police to provide a witness statement in the current case, the court heard. 

She received a threatening phone call from Williams, from Liverpool Prison. 

When his cell was searched it was found he had used an unauthorised device to make the calls.

Richard English, defending, said his client had suffered from a traumatic childhood, which had impacted on his later life. Pictured: Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court

He had called the victim 181 times and another ex-partner received 380 calls, a previous hearing was told. 

Williams had previously pleaded guilty to using controlling and coercive behaviour, causing actual bodily harm and assault.

In addition, he admitted unauthorised use of a mobile phone to contact the woman and another former partner from prison and witness intimidation.

Mr Howie said Williams claimed at one point that his behaviour had been affected by witnessing the deaths of two comrades while a serving soldier in Afghanistan. 

But checks of his Army record had disclosed that the defendant had never been posted to the country.

The hearing was told Williams was dismissed from the armed forces in 2016 after being court-martialled for assault. 

Richard English, defending, said his client had suffered from a traumatic childhood, which had impacted on his later life.

The victim had indicated that she wished to continue with the relationship, he told the court. 

Mr English said the defendant, who had a steady work record as a bricklayer, joiner, soldier and lorry driver, had also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Jailing him, Judge John Potter said: 'These offences as a whole portray you as an abusive, manipulative and controlling bully, in particular while you are in relationships with female partners.' 

The judge also imposed a five-year restraining order in relation to a former partner. 

None was sought regarding his teenage victim.

Judge Potter said he did not consider Williams to be a 'dangerous' offender and he appreciated the fact the defendant had suffered considerable mental health problems, linked to his childhood traumas.  

But the judge said these factors 'were no excuse' for subjecting someone 10 years younger than him to such an ordeal.  

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