A possessive boyfriend who shamed, beat and bullied his 16-year-old girlfriend into sex has been released after he claimed he suffered from ‘depression’ after a previous prison ban for terrorizing another ex.
Callum Whittingham, 21, of Stretford, Manchester, was alleged to assault the teen and then claim he ‘couldn’t help it’ as she tried to distance herself from her friends and family, claiming they didn’t love her anymore.
He was held in police custody and sent to prison after admitting two charges of coercion.
But he was released with an 18-month sentence with a two-year suspension after he said a nine-week sentence imposed on him in August — following another domestic incident involving another partner — had a “negative effect on his depression’.
Callum Whittingham, 21, of Stretford, Manchester, (Manchester) is released from Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, where he was given a suspended sentence for coercive conduct
He was released on 18 months in prison with a two-year suspension after saying that a nine-week period imposed on him in August for another domestic incident involving another partner had “negative effect on his depression”
Sentencing judge Maurice Greene told Whittingham at Minshull Street Crown Court he suffered “significant trauma” in his life after his birth mother died when he was 16 and his adopted father died a year later.
During their on-again, off-again relationship, Whittingham left voicemails on the girl’s phone threatening her family, refused to let her leave his home alone, and on one occasion placed a hot spoon on her chest.
The youngster, who has since split up with Whittingham and has a new boyfriend, later told police: “The way Callum made me feel really touched me. I didn’t leave my own house for fear of bumping into him.
“I have nightmares and wake up panicked. I now recoil when my new boyfriend moves out and I feel depressed about it. I’m afraid of Callum.’
The court heard that Whittingham and the girl were dating in March of this year.
“They talked on social media and went on dates.” said David Lees continue. “At first things were going well, but she started to notice that he didn’t like her being with her friends.
“He was going to attack her and he said he couldn’t help it. He said her friends weren’t really her friends and he told her her family didn’t love her and she started to believe that.
He would threaten to hurt himself if she refused to see him and he would call her a ‘snail’ and say she was ‘fat’. He would also say he was with other women and then accuse her of cheating.
“Once he chased her on a tram and attacked her because she laughed while they were talking on the phone. She didn’t feel like she had an option to leave him because he made her feel so uncomfortable. He said ‘what did I tell you about being on the phone’ and then hit her.
Sentencing judge Maurice Greene told Whittingham (pictured) at Minshull Street Crown Court that he had suffered ‘significant trauma’ in his life and suffered from ‘mental health problems’
“He bullied her into having sex with him until she agreed. He would leave voicemails and threaten her family. They broke up and got back together in July and she went to stay with him, but the relationship got back to what they were.
“He wouldn’t let her leave the house alone. Once he placed a hot spoon on her chest. He accepts that he has used violence, but not on a daily basis. He accepts that he would hit her, but not kick her. He doesn’t accept murder threats, but accepts that he assaulted the victim but didn’t use a weapon and that he didn’t drag her across the floor.”
Whittingham was jailed in August for making malicious communications against a former partner and criminal harm in a domestic relationship.
As an extenuation, defense counsel Adam Brown said: “He has a significant number of difficulties and has found detention difficult. Sending him back to custody would do nothing in my respectful submission. He cannot control his emotions.
His biological mother died when he was 16 and his adoptive father died when he was 17. He has lived in nursing homes and was cared for. He will be left in a situation where he will be homeless if taken into custody because his housing runs out.
“He accepts that the victim was just a young girl and that he had made her life a misery. But child custody has had a negative impact on his depression. There is a strong perspective on rehabilitation.’
Convicted judge Maurice Greene told Whittingham: ‘You have made life miserable and frightened the victims because she didn’t know what was going on at the time. You would slap her, scold her and keep her from seeing her friends.
“You said she couldn’t rely on anyone but you and that you’d threaten to hurt yourself if she didn’t meet you. You followed her on a tram and hit her and attacked her for laughing on the phone and she didn’t feel like she could leave you.
“You’d slap her and be jealous of everyone she kissed on a text message. When you got excited, you hit her in the face and there was constant fear of violence. You made her feel like she couldn’t leave the house and she’s afraid she’ll bump into you.
“She has a new boyfriend, but she recoils when he moves. Your behavior was intended to cause fear and distress, and it was persistent.
“But it’s pretty clear that you’ve had some serious trauma in your life and you have mental health issues. Your adopted father died when you were 17 and your biological mother died when you were 16. You have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and you are taking medications for depression and anxiety.
“The guardianship has had quite an effect on you. You were sentenced to nine weeks in adult detention in August 2021, which has consequences for your mental health. There have been previous cases of self-harm. Because of these things I can suspend this prison sentence, but only with good reason.’
Whittingham was also tasked with completing 45 days of rehabilitation, completing a ‘Building Better Relationships’ program plus 80 hours of unpaid work. He was not allowed to contact the girl for five years.