January 2021

Bully who stubbed out cigarettes on girlfriend and poured bleach over her dodges jail

A woman beater who stubbed out cigarettes on his girlfriend’s neck and poured bleach over her has dodged jail.

Ryan Barr, aka Romeo Barr, subjected the young Liverpool student to a campaign of “disgusting” abuse.

Barr, 24, also spat on his victim, kicked and bit her face, taunted her when she cried and even hit their dog and made her watch.

He also made his partner take out loans, leaving her in more than £5,000 of debt.

But the woman beater was spared jail after a court heard he had since changed his ways and helps to care for his nan.

The victim, who is not named, met then 22-year-old Barr in Liverpool in February 2018

Liverpool Crown Court heard the relationship developed quickly and Barr offered her a place to stay at his nan’s home in Four Acre Lane, Clock Face, St Helens, where he lives.

However, Louise McCloskey, prosecuting, said once the woman agreed she was his girlfriend, things soon “deteriorated”.

She said: “The defendant would become aggressive in drink, call her names such as ‘slag’, spit on her and throw things around. This behaviour then began to develop even when the defendant was not in drink.”

The court heard he was “jealous and controlling”, didn’t want her to go out with friends or attend university, became “angry and moody”, monitored her phone calls and sometimes “took her phone off her, smashing it”.

The victim recalled Barr kicking her to the face as she bent to pick up a towel, after ice cold water was thrown over her while she took a shower, and when she became distressed, he said: “I don’t even feel bad for you crying.”

Ms McCloskey said the victim described being “hit with a hairbrush or remote control, having her hair pulled, him stubbing out cigarettes on her back or her neck when she was asleep, and an occasion when bleach was poured on her and she described it taking days to remove the smell from her body”.

The prosecutor said: “He would also hit their dog that they shared and make her watch.”

The final attack came on July 4, 2018, when the victim went to a nightclub in Liverpool.

Ms McCloskey said: “The defendant saw her, spat at her and bit her jaw, followed the complainant back to the flat where she was staying at university and security staff made him leave.”

She said Barr also “made her take out a number of loans” and after the relationship ended, “bombarded” her with texts and calls, “some apologetic declaring his love for her, others abusive, using words regularly like slut”.

Ms McCloskey said the bite to the jaw “thankfully” caused a “relatively minor” injury.

When interviewed by police in October 2018 and January 2019, Barr accepted arguing, but denied any physical or emotional abuse.

The woman said she was previously confident, with close friends and family, but was “isolated” from both by Barr and lost her confidence.

Ms McCloskey said: “She is still coming to terms with the financial difficulties that this defendant has left her in and obviously feels like she is a different person than she was before.”

Barr, who admitted controlling and coercive behaviour, was previously convicted of common assault against the same victim.

He received a community order on May 17, 2018 and was then twice convicted of failing to comply with its requirements.

Judge Andrew Menary, QC, raised concerns about denials made by Barr in a pre-sentence report.

Judge Menary said Barr’s behaviour needed to be further addressed by the Probation Service, adding: “What they’ve done is already bearing fruit. I hope that carries on.”

He handed Barr 15 months in jail, suspended for 18 months, a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 150 hours of unpaid work.

The judge ordered him to pay £500 in compensation to the victim and imposed a two-year restraining order.