August 2021

Vile Whitby dad abused wife and daughter in ’20 year reign of terror’

A controlling and abusive dad who regularly hit his wife and daughter for more than 20 years has been jailed.

Daryl Cooper, 61 and from Whitby, subjected his family to a “20-year reign of terror” during which he fractured his wife’s jaw, hit his child with an iPad and isolated both from relatives and friends.

Cooper’s violent behaviour started shortly after the birth of his daughter, who is now an adult.

His wife said he slapped her across the face during an argument when she was holding their five-month-old baby,

Joanne Kidd, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court how Cooper and the woman married in the late 1990s and had a daughter together in 1999.

Ms Kidd told the court: “Matters went downhill essentially from then. The relationship ended in 2019.

“Over that 20-year relationship Mr Cooper exercised coercive and controlling behaviour towards his family.

“That relationship peppered by acts of aggressive violence, alcohol consumption and a persistent need for him to control and isolate both his wife and daughter from friends and family, who it’s clear were increasingly concerned about injury.”

She said the woman was appearing with bruises and other injuries, which she had passed off without complaint to the police

Ms Kidd said that between January 1 and January 31, 2008 Cooper subjected his ex-partner to a vicious assault which left her with a fractured jaw.

The heavily intoxicated defendant launched himself at her in the hallway, knocking her into the door.

The incident caused her to lose consciousness and she fell in and out of consciousness for a period of time.

Ms Kidd said: “When she did regain consciousness she woke to find him verbally abusing her.

“There must have been a point where he carried her as she woke up on the sofa.”

The prosecutor told the court how the woman discovered the landline had been disconnected and her mobile phone was not visible.

She said: “She recovered her phone and rang her brother for help, she turned down the offer for medical assistance at the time.”

Ms Kidd said that her daughter woke the following morning to find her mother sitting in bed with extensive bruising to her face.

She said the woman later learned, while visiting the dentist, that she had sustained a fractured jaw.

The court heard how, on another occasion, he put his forearm against her throat and held a knife against her throat while their daughter sat on the stairs.

She said: “(The victim) feared that (her daughter) was about to witness the defendant cutting her mother’s throat.”

The court in Middlesbrough heard how Cooper subjected his daughter to child cruelty.

Ms Kidd said the girl recalled being smacked across the face with an iPad, when she was around 13 or 14.

She said she also remembered being held over the bath and banging her head off it, which led to her earing being ripped from her ear.

Ms Kidd said that the girl, who was also picked up by her t-shirt, would lock herself in the bathroom to avoid him.

The court heard her mum recalled Cooper ringing her in 2015 to say he had had an argument with his daughter, who was 15-years-old at the time.

Ms Kidd said she discovered broken furniture and doors hanging off in her home and that Cooper had fought and beaten the child, throwing heavy items towards her.

She said the girl, who had ran away, was located by police and placed in care for seven months after social services became involved.

Ms Kidd said that, during that time, the woman was subjected to a level of control which meant she was unable to speak to the girl.

She said: “(The victim) believed that the defendant was suffering from a illness mentally and an addiction to alcohol and if she could make him better these episodes of violence and abuse would stop.

“They did not.”

Cooper’s behaviour and alcohol addiction became even worse in 2018 and he threatened co-workers and staff at his daughter’s workplace, which caused her to lose her job.

Ms Kidd told the court how Cooper and his wife separated on January 9 2019 after she found out he was in another relationship.

The prosecutor described the offences committed by Cooper as a “20 year reign of terror”.

In a victim impact statement, read to the court by Ms Kidd, his former partner said that she felt “stupid” and “worthless”.

The woman said that he spent months away as a driver for Shearings Holidays “living the single life” and his “drunken, argumentative and obnoxious” behaviour meant that they never got a second invite from her friends as a couple.

The woman said he called her sister in law a “money grabbing w****” and her nephew was scared of him.

She said: “My home was used to provide his bed and breakfast first while he was in the UK, nothing more.”

The woman said she will “never come to terms” with the guilt that she feels for leaving her daughter in his care.

She said: “He hit me with her in my arms, she was five months old, and that was my first mistake not to end the relationship then.

“On numerous occasions I was held up by my throat when he lost his temper leaving me unable to breath and leaving me vulnerable.

“I now know he was so much worse with (her daughter) when I wasn’t with her.

“I do see him – the nasty, manipulative, narcissist that he is.

“He doesn’t care about anyone apart from himself and will have no real remorse for anything he has done in our relationship of previous relationships because he doesn’t take responsibility for his actions.

“I will not even feature in his thoughts unless it’s about how much money he gets from the divorce.

“I hope I do not let it define the rest of my life.”

In the victim impact statement, read out by Ms Kiss, Cooper’s daughter said that she had memories of “pain” and being made to feel like anything was her fault.

She said that she was told if she tried to speak up she wouldn’t be believed, she would be taken away, and she would be letting her mother down.

The girl described the defendant as a “coward” who is afraid of himself.

Cooper, of Abbey Terrace, Whitby, pleaded guilty to two counts of controlling and coercive behaviour, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and child cruelty.

A previous hearing heard how the controlling and coercive behaviour charges related to a period between December 29, 2015 and January 9, 2019 in Hartlepool.

The charge was introduced as a new offence by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on December 29, 2015.

Judge Timothy Stead described Cooper’s behaviour as controlling, oppressive, volatile, persistent, undermining and deceitful.

He said that all of that, over a period of years, has the affect of grinding the individuals down, diminishing their will to resist on occasions and preventing them from moving forward emotionally and physically in their lives.

The judge said that the lives of the two individuals will be “permanently damaged” by the misconduct of the defendant.

He said: “It’s to be hoped, of course, that they can recover and move on as much as possible.”

Judge Stead sentenced him to three years in prison and handed him a 10 year restraining order against the two victims.