A MAN has been found not guilty of controlling or coercive behaviour against his former partner.

Dane Bush, 36, of Pantyffynnon Road in Ammanford, had been charged with engaging in controlling or coercive behaviour in a relationship, after it was alleged that he caused the complainant to fear on multiple occasions that he would be violent towards her between March 1 and August 22 last year.

Bush denied the offence.

After two days of evidence, the jury deliberated for just under an hour and a half before returning a not guilty verdict.

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During the course of the trial, the court heard that Bush and the complainant had been in a relationship for around two-and-a-half years at the time of his arrest.

Prosecutor James Hartson argued that the defendant’s behaviour towards the complainant changed after she had left home in Gloucester to move in with him, that he coerced her in to taking out a loan for £2,000, took control over their finances, would snatch her phone from her, and would criticise her appearance and call her a “psychopath”, “mental”, and “crazy”.

Bush denied this. He said the complainant took the out the loan of her own free will in order to have enough money between them to secure a deposit on the house they bought together, and that he would sort out the majority of the couple’s finances due to the complainant’s learning difficulties.

He told the jury that he didn’t “routinely criticise” the complainant’s looks, but had instead “said words like ‘She’s naturally pretty, she doesn’t need make-up”.

The jury heard that on August 5, Bush walked in to the complainant’s bedroom carrying a large kitchen knife.

The prosecution alleged he was “looking for evidence of that other man”, but Bush told the jury that he was looking for an intruder after the complainant had heard a noise outside and he had brought the knife as a “deterrent”.

“Whilst holding that knife do you use that knife to threaten [the complainant]?,” defence counsel Matthew Murphy asked.

“No, never,” Bush replied.

The defendant told the court that on three previous occasions, people had tried to break in to the house and he had twice needed to replace the outside door handles.

Bush was accused of threatening to kill the complainant and her family on August 6 if she showed a recording she made of him with the knife the previous day to anyone or reported it to the police.

He accepted there was an argument, but added: “I’ve never threatened [the complainant] on that day or any day or her family.”

On August 18, during another argument, Bush was alleged to have pushed the complainant. He told the jury he pushed her away in self-defence after she had hit him.

He was arrested after the complainant reported him to the police four days later.

Judge Huw Rees thanked the jury for the attention they gave the case.

The prosecution had offered no evidence on a charge of battery relating to an incident covered by the coercive control offence, and a not guilty verdict was entered.