'Dangerous and violent' man ‘who threatened to set girlfriend on fire’ hunted by police after fleeing court

Court heard he mounted a pavement and made threats to drive into a lamp-post while driving his girlfriend around in a car

Maya Oppenheim
Women's Correspondent
@mayaoppenheim
Tuesday 10 September 2019 15:46
comments
Mr Bennett, who is a plumber, ran away from the dock and a security guard just as the court was about to take a break
Mr Bennett, who is a plumber, ran away from the dock and a security guard just as the court was about to take a break

A controlling boyfriend facing prison time for locking his partner in a car and flushing her contraceptive pill down the toilet has fled from court before being sentenced.

Adam Bennett, a 27-year-old plumber, is being hunted by police after making a dash from the dock at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday.

Mr Bennett, who police described as "dangerous and violent", was set to be sentenced after pleading guilty to engaging in controlling behaviour at an earlier date.

He ran away from the dock and a security guard just as the court was about to take a break.

The father-of-two had just heard the facts of the case and sentencing guidelines. A warrant has now been issued for his arrest.

Louise McCloskey, who was prosecuting, said Mr Bennett had subjected his partner to controlling behaviour by locking her in a car, a house and even flushing away her contraceptive pill.

She said the controlling and coercive behaviour had begun in May 2018.

"The defendant had become angry after noticing she had been looking up her ex on Facebook on her phone. He then forced her into a car and threatened her verbally,” she said.

“He drove her to her ex’s and locked her in the car there. He then drove her to a house where he locked her in there.”

Ms McCloskey said in one instance he drove her “around for hours” which left her feeling “scared at what he would do next”.

She added: “It became a regular occurrence that he would become angry and accuse her of cheating on him.”

The court heard how on a separate occasion he mounted a pavement and made threats to drive into a lamp-post.

Ms McCloskey said: “She thought he was going to kill her”.

He had also threatened to set her on fire after holding a lighter near her and dousing her in cleaning spray.

Ms McCloskey said: “She had to miss days of work. He knew she loved her job and it was a place she loved going to.

“He would always prevent her from wearing much makeup and he stopped her from socialising with her friends. He also stopped her from sleeping at night until he himself had fallen asleep.

“She said she suffers with very low self-esteem now and suffers with anxiety and depression. She feels frightened and paranoid and has had to install alarms in her house. She feels as though the defendant is watching her and is paranoid every time someone drives by her.”

The court heard how Mr Bennett had a “very difficult childhood” and finds conducting relationships a challenge.

Paul Wood, defending, said: “There are two sides to the defendant; one an insecure individual and one who many members of the public would support the positive qualities he has. He’s a very hard worker.”

Police described Mr Bennett, from Scarisbrick Drive in Norris Green, as white, 6ft tall, of medium build with blue eyes, brown receding hair and a beard.

Inspector Jane Moreau from Merseyside Police's Fugitive Team said: “Extensive enquiries are ongoing to locate Bennett since the warrant was issued yesterday.

”Please share his image as far and wide as possible, to ensure he doesn’t come into contact with any unsuspecting women. Bennett is regarded as a dangerous and violent individual so I would urge anyone who has seen him or has any information to come forward immediately and help us remove him from the streets."

Police asked people to contact 999 if they come across Bennett, or if they have any other information, or message @MerPolCC or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments