A possessive boyfriend who fat-shamed, slapped and bullied his 16-year-old girlfriend into sex has been spared prison after claiming he suffered ‘depression’ following a previous spell in jail for terrorising another ex-partner.
Callum Whittingham, 21, from Stretford, Manchester, would assault the teenager and then claim he ‘could not help it’ whilst trying to distance her from her friends and family, stating that they did not love her anymore.
He was being held on remand and faced jail after he admitted two charges of coercive behaviour.
But he was freed, having been handed an 18 months jail term suspended for two years after saying a nine week stretch imposed upon him in August – over another domestic incident upon another partner – had a ‘negative effect on his depression.’
Callum Whittingham, 21, from Stretford, Manchester, (Manchester) was released from Minshull street crown court in Manchester where he received a suspended sentence for coercive behaviour
He was freed with 18 months jail suspended for two years after saying a nine week stretch imposed upon him in August over another domestic incident upon another partner had a ‘negative effect on his depression’
Maurice Greene, sentencing, told Whittingham at Minshull Street Crown Court that he had faced ‘considerable trauma’ in his life, following the death of his birth mother when he was 16 and the subsequent death of his adopted father who passed away a year later.
During their on-off relationship Whittingham would leave voicemails on the girl’s phone threatening her family, refused to let her leave his house on her own and on one occasion, put a hot spoon on her chest.
The youngster, who has since split up with Whittingham and has a new boyfriend, told police: ‘The way Callum has made me feel has really affected me. I have not left my own home for fear of me bumping into him.
‘I have nightmares and wake up panicking. I now flinch when my new boyfriend moves and it has made me feel depressed. I am scared of Callum.’
The court heard Whittingham and the girl had begun dating in March this year.
‘They would talk on social media and went on dates.’ said David Lees prosecuting. ‘Initially things went well but she started noticing he didn’t like her being with her friends.
‘He would assault her and he said he could not help it. He said her friends were not really her friends and he told her, her family did not love her and she began to believe that.
‘He would threaten to harm himself if she declined to see him and he called her a ‘slag’ and would say that she was ‘fat’. He would also say that he was with other women then accuse her of cheating.
‘On one occasion, he chased her onto a tram and assaulted her because she laughed whilst they were on the phone. She did not feel she had an option to leave him as he made her feel so uncomfortable. He said: ‘what have I told you about being on the phone?’ and then hit her.
The sentencing judge Maurice Greene told Whittingham (pictured) at Minshull Street Crown Court that he had faced ‘considerable trauma’ in his life and suffered with ‘mental health issues’
‘He bullied her into having sex with him until she agreed. He would leave voicemails and threaten her family. They split up and got back together in July and she went to stay at his house but the relationship went back to how they were.
‘He would not let her leave the house on her own. On one occasion, he put a hot spoon to her chest. He accepts he used violence but not on a daily basis. He accepts he would slap her but not kick her. He does not accept any threats to kill but accepts he did assault the victim but didn’t use a weapon and that he did not drag her along the floor.’
Whittingham was locked up in August for making malicious communications against a former partner and criminal damage in a domestic relationship.
In mitigation defence counsel Adam Brown said: ‘He has a significant number of difficulties and found the custodial setting hard. Sending him back to custody would not achieve anything in my respectful submission. He cannot manage his emotions.
‘His birth mother died when he was 16 and his adopted father died when he was 17. He has been living in care homes and was looked after. He will be left in a situation where he will be homeless if he is sent to custody as his accommodation runs out.
‘He accepts the victim was only a young girl and he had made her life a misery. But custody has had a negative impact on his depression. There is a strong prospect of rehabilitation.’
Judge Maurice Greene told Whittingham: ‘You made the victims life miserable and fearful as she did not know what was going on at the time. You would slap her, call her names and stop her from seeing her friends.
‘You said there was no one she could rely on other than you and you would threaten to harm yourself if she did not meet you. You followed her on a tram and struck her and assaulted her for laughing on the phone and she did not feel she could leave you.
‘You would slap her and become jealous with anyone she sent a kiss on a text to. When you became agitated you would hit her to the face and there was constant fear of violence. You made her feel like she could not leave the house and she is fearful she may bump into you.
‘She has a new boyfriend but she flinches when he moves. Your conduct was intended to cause fear and distress and it was persistent.
‘But it is quite clear you have had considerable trauma in your life and you have mental health issues. Your adopted father died when you were 17 and your birth mother died when you were 16. You have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and you are on medication for depression and anxiety.
‘Custody has had a considerable effect on you. In August 2021, you were sentenced to nine weeks in adult custody and that has had an effect on your mental health. There have been previous instances of self-harm. Because of these matters, I can suspend this prison sentence but only just.’
Whittingham was also ordered to complete 45 rehabilitation requirement days, complete a ‘Building Better Relationships’ programme plus 80 hours unpaid work. He was banned from contacting the girl for five years.