Terrified woman locked in bedroom 'for not doing food shopping'
Police had to free a terrified woman from a bedroom where she was being held by the man she was living with, a judge heard.
Paul Harries locked her in the bedroom after the pair argued when they got home from the pub, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
The Severn Trent engineer had downed up to 12 pints and was criticising her for not doing the food shopping, said Mr Omar Majid, prosecuting, who continued: “She went to the bedroom to get away from him and shut the door.
“When she tried the door some time later it would not open.
“Her phone was in a bag in another room and when she asked the defendant to let her out he laughed.”
The woman had known Harries for years but the couple had only been living together at her Bloxwich home for a short time.
Being imprisoned brought back bad memories of her earlier relationship with a violent man, it was said.
Mr Majid continued: “She became increasingly panic stricken and broke a window through which she screamed for help.
“It appears somebody heard her and called the police.”
Two officers were sent to the scene but had to wait so long to get a response from the address they were about to force open the front door when it was opened by the smiling defendant.
He had dismantled the bedroom door handle which the police had to put back together again before they could release the woman who was locked up for around 90 minutes on October 6 last year.
Miss Katie Fox, defending, declared: “This was a horrible incident that left the injured party with a great deal of distress.”
But she said it occurred shortly after his life had been turned upside down by the ‘very long’ prison sentence imposed on his son for an unspecified crime.
The lawyer concluded: “It was a catastrophic development in his life and he was not thinking properly.”
Harries, of Burrowes Street, Birchills, Walsall pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and was given a 12-month community order with £1,200 costs.
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