Thug attacked girlfriend every day and banned her from wearing jeans and make up

A woman has bravely spoken out after her boyfriend who banned her from using social media and attacked her every day was jailed.

Elle Griffin was just 18 when she met thug Joshua Berenger but their relationship soon turned violent as he banned her from wearing what she wanted and demanded access to her phone.

Speaking after the 25-year-old was put behind bars for four years, Elle said she thought she had no escape from the "scariest person imaginable".

Between August 2017 until April 2018, Berenger became incredibly demanding and controlling, telling her what she could and couldn't wear.

He ordered her to come off social media and he checked her phone every day and would control who she spoke to.

He had access to her phone, restored her old images and then questioned her about them.

Elle said she was also 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.

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.

His brave victim spoke after the sentencing about the horrific ordeal she faced.

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."

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