Chesterfield man’s wife endured “30 years” of abuse and controlling behaviour, court hears

A Chesterfield father-of-three’s wife endured “30 years” of abusive and foul-mouthed tantrums if she failed to follow his “arbitrary” rules, a court heard.

By Ben McVay
Monday, 12th July 2021, 5:41 pm

Adam Pickering’s wife would be “shouted” at if she over-filled the freezer or got water on the bathroom carpet and was not allowed to drive unless he was there to “pick a parking space”.

Derby Crown Court heard how Pickering also scolded her for spending £15 on a jacket for their son.

On another occasion he called his long-suffering wife a “thief” when he discovered she had spent £10 on a pair of shoes - having originally told him they cost £5.

Adam Pickering’s wife would be “shouted” at if she over-filled the freezer or got water on the bathroom carpet

Prosecutor Graham Huston described how insecure Pickering “went absolutely mad” when he found her chopping food while cooking without wearing gloves he had bought her.

Mr Huston said bully Pickering once threatened to “kick the f***” out of his terrorised partner’s China cabinet for driving herself to hospital.

Recorder Adrian Reynolds heard Pickering would harangue her with 20 calls a day and shout abuse at her when she got home if she missed “one of them”.

However his family lived in constant fear of a foul-mouthed rant if they disturbed engineer Pickering during his post-work nap.

During one of his rages Pickering drove a six-inch nail through his daughter’s phone.

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The prosecutor said: “Throughout their 30-year relationship he controlled her with his bad temper and abused her verbally.

“He would destroy property if she failed to follow his rules while in a rage and made derogatory comments in front of their children.”

The court heard the beaten-down wife had never been to a work party and “never even asked” if she could go out for fear of bringing down his ire.

Mr Huston said Pickering’s family finally left him - taking as many of their belongings as they could carry - in July last year.

The last straw was an incident during which his wife was gardening with their sons and Pickering started shouting, throwing a hat and gloves, because “they were not doing it the way he wanted”.

Pickering, of Queen Street, Brimington, admitted coercive and controlling behaviour at an earlier hearing.

However he also pleaded guilty to criminal damage, having destroyed his wife’s chandeliers, chairs and bedroom furniture worth £4,800 in December last year.

The court heard he had previous public order and public drunkenness convictions.

Suspending a 20-month jail term for two years today Recorder Adrian Reynolds told tearful Pickering his tears were “by some distance too little too late”.

He said: “You have been a really angry man for a long time - like most angry men you take out your anger on others. In particular, those you should have loved and cherished.

“Your wife’s life and to some extent your children’s must have been a nightmare - why she put up with you for so long is not a question I have any ready answer to.

“The longer this has gone on the more difficult it is to challenge yourself about what you have been doing and what you really are.”

Pickering was ordered to pay £4,800 compensation for the damage to his wife’s property and £1,200 court costs.

He was given a life-time restraining order preventing him from contacting his wife or youngest son and ordered to take part in 31 days of a relationships programme and 30 rehabilitation activity sessions.

The judge told Pickering: “You are 58 and have never been to prison - I have to take account of the impact of a prison sentence particularly in the times we are in now.

“You as an individual will be more pushed being subject to an order that requires you to confront the reality of the monstrous way you have behaved - instead of sitting in a jail cell.”

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