Hastings man jailed for coercive and controlling behaviour

Clint Lewis. Picture courtesy of Sussex Police
Clint Lewis. Picture courtesy of Sussex Police

A man has been jailed after a series of offences against a woman, including coercive and controlling behaviour and perverting the course of justice.

Clint Lewis, 39, a builder, of Chanctonbury Drive, Hastings, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court last Thursday (November 23) to a total of four years’ imprisonment, having been found guilty after a trial in October of controlling and coercive behaviour, actual bodily harm, and perverting the course of justice.

Jocelyn Oakman. Picture courtesy of Sussex Police

Jocelyn Oakman. Picture courtesy of Sussex Police

He was given 24 months for the coercive control offence, 12 months for actual bodily harm and 12 months for perverting the course of justice, all to run consecutively.

While Lewis was on remand in prison awaiting trial, via phone calls and texts, he encouraged an ex-girlfriend, Jocelyn Oakman, and his own son, Arron Lewis, to help in persuading the victim withdraw her statement at one point, though the victim re-engaged with the investigation a short while later.

Another ex-girlfriend of Clint Lewis, Nichola Wells, became involved by encouraging Oakman in her efforts.

Jocelyn Oakman, 42, a receptionist, of Wellington Gardens, Nichola Wells, 32, a residential care worker, of Battle Hill, and his son Arron Lewis, 20, a building society employee, also of Wellington Gardens, all in Battle, were all convicted of perverting the course of justice.

Oakman was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment, and Wells and Arron Lewis were both given four-month prison sentences suspended for 18 months.

The investigation began in January when Lewis was arrested after a dispute with the victim.

Police said Lewis showed a knife and threatened two people who were helping her.

He was subsequently charged with assault and was remanded in prison custody but late​r​ that month the victim told the police she no longer wanted to support the court case.

However the police investigation into the assault and other matters continued and in the following month, the victim admitted her earlier retraction had been the result of pressure from Oakman, who was herself influenced from prison by phone calls from Clint Lewis.

The victim then produced a video recording of Clint Lewis shouting at her in a very aggressive and hostile manner, and had spat in her face just before the recording was made.

She also went on to describe other incidents in which Lewis acted in a vicious and hostile manner.

Detective Constable Jane Husher, of the East Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit, said: “Following a careful investigation, it resulted in our uncovering a pattern of devious, controlling and sometimes violent behaviour by Clint Lewis.

“The victim was clearly under great physical and mental pressure throughout, but her recorded interview was given in evidence at court and she was then cross-examined in court from behind a screen.

“Victims of this type of aggressive and controlling behaviour should know that we will always investigate wherever possible and offer sources of support and counselling.

“If you are a victim, you are not alone – please talk to us so that we can help.”