Jealous Barnstaple boyfriend made divorcee get rid of wedding dress

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A divorcee was forced to hand over her old wedding ring and get rid of pictures of her ex after she started a new relationship with a violent domestic abuser. 

Grant Webber has a history of abusing his partners going back 20 years after subjected the woman to weeks of terror. 

He threatened to use a hand grenade to kill them both in a murder-suicide, he fitted a lock to his bedroom so he could keep her prisoner, and pinned her down against the bed in one attack. 

He used a form a sleep deprivation to control her and attacked her when she refused to give up her married name and change her surname to Webber. 

She sobbed as she read out a victim impact statement at Exeter Crown Court in which she told how she is now too scared to go anywhere near his home in Barnstaple. 

She said: “I fear my own shadow. I want my own life back, the life he took away. He still has my wedding ring. He crushed my husband’s pictures and he took away all my memories of my husband.” 

Webber, aged 52, of Barbican Lane, Barnstaple, admitted harassment that caused fear of violence and was jailed for two years, suspended for two years and ordered to attend a building better relationships course. 

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Judge Timothy Rose also imposed 20 days probation supervision and a restraining order banning all contact with the victim for seven years. 

He told Webber: “It is perfectly clear to me that you are a paradigm example of an abusive partner who wants everything their way and is unreasonably jealous of your partner’s independence or past. 

“For example, there were the issues about her marriage; demanding the deletion of photographs, demanding the ring. You were completely consumed by your own needs and your desire for control and domination. 

“You had no understanding of the harm you were inflicting and there were times when you terrorised the victim and made her fear for her safety.” 

Mr Daniel Pawson-Pounds said Webber had been in a relationship with the woman for about a year when police were called to a violent incident on March 1 last year in which he pinned her to the floor and prevented her leaving his home. 

During the previous month he had become increasingly controlling and jealous and told her he wanted to kill her.  

He had previously talked about obtaining a fragmentation grenade and using it to blow up both of them on Croyde beach. 

She told police he had deliberately kept her awake at night and threatened to kill himself in front of her. He made her delete or destroy her old wedding photos and throw away cards and her wedding dress. 

He was so jealous of her ex that he threatened to find and torture him. Webber has convictions for assaults or harassment against previous partners going back to 2001, including one for using a bomb scare to terrify one of them. 

Mr Herc Ashworth, defending, said Webber has stayed out of trouble and not tried to contact the victim in the 14 months since his arrest. 

He has tackled long standing alcohol and mental health problems and spent time with his sister at Holcombe, near Teignmouth, helping as a volunteer for a riding charity. 

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