A woman who lived with a man she described as the “scariest person imaginable” has spoken out after he was jailed for controlling her.
Elle Griffin was just 18 when she met thug Joshua Berenger but their relationship soon turned violent and she thought she might die at his hands.
Berenger, 25, banned her from wearing what she wanted and demanded access to her phone.
Now 20 and pregnant with her first child, Elle has released pictures of her injuries to encourage others to come forward if they are being abused by their partners.
Between August 2017 until April 2018, Elle says Berenger became incredibly demanding and controlling, he ordered her to come off social media and he checked her phone every day and would control who she spoke to.
Elle said she was being attacked by him everyday.
Berenger, of Chelmsford, Essex, persistently asked her about former boyfriends and male friends and even stopped her going to the toilet in restaurants because he believed she would get attention.
The situation came to a head when in April 2018 Berenge kicked her in the head and ribs when she refused to unlock her phone.
He stamped on her as she lay on the floor and tried to protect her face.
She told Mirror Online: “He was trying to stamp on my face.
“It felt like he was trying to kill me.”
Essex Police were called and he was arrested and then later charged.
Following the police investigation Berenger was charged with coercive and controlling behaviour and actual bodily harm.
He appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday, June 3 and was sentenced to a total of four years.
He was given a 10-year restraining order and will also serve a further year on licence.
Elle said: “I was in a relationship with Joshua for almost 10 months and from a very early stage I was being controlled, manipulated, threatened and attacked every day.
“I kept the abuse to myself and it took Joshua putting me into hospital for me to call police.
“He was the scariest person imaginable and I believed there was no way out.
“I realised once I got help from police, family and friends, that I wasn’t alone.
“No matter how scary someone may seem to you, there is always a way out and they will get what they deserve in the end.
“Joshua is now in prison and I am living the life he took away from me. Speaking to someone is the first step to everything getting better.”
PC Amber Martin-Brett, from Essex Police, who was the investigating officer, said: “Berenger used his controlling and coercive behaviour to control Elle in every aspect of her life.
“He checked her phone, told her what to wear, made her come of social media and controlled who she spoke to.
“Berenger was violent and threatening and we began our investigation upon Elle’s report to police.
“Elle has shown an enormous amount of bravery, not just by reporting the crime but through assisting us in our investigation and Berenger’s court case. She has today bravely spoke of her experiences.
“Berenger has been given a lengthy custodial sentence and I’d urge anyone suffering the same abuse to come forward and report it to us.”