Woman Sentenced After Controlling, Abusive Behavior Towards Husband

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A student nurse, Sarah Rigby, has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for mistreating her boyfriend, Gareth Jones. 

Rigby manipulated him into believing he was overweight, bald, and had unpleasant breath, instructing him to consume salad, wear a hat, and eat toothpaste. She convinced him to spend £40,000 on her, even going so far as to make him visit Harrods during their trip to London.

She gaslighted and manipulated him in a twisted attempt to make him shed pounds. She also compelled him to wear a hat whenever he ventured outdoors, successfully persuading him that he was experiencing hair loss. Rigby maintained control over his monthly income of £4,000, evicted him from the residence while he was only wearing underwear, and inspected his mobile phone.

Despite admitting to engaging in coercive behavior, Rigby managed to avoid imprisonment and received a suspended prison term of 20 months, which will be in effect for two years. She subjected Gareth to months of mistreatment, including preventing him from showering or using the toilet and forcing him to sleep on the floor as a means of punishment. 

This was a highly severe example of coercive control within a relationship.

Gareth, who connected with Rigby on a dating site, revealed that she began showering him with excessive displays of affection, which she referred to as ‘love bombing.’ Later, she insisted on him paying £700 in rent, even though her father was the owner of the property. Despite this, he was required to store his belongings in her garage and frequently faced eviction, being compelled to stay with his parents.

The court was informed about the couple’s relationship, which began in 2021 after they connected on Plenty of Fish. Rigby quickly exerted control over Gareth, insisting that he needed to lose weight in order for their relationship to continue. She controlled his diet, mocked his sexual abilities, and searched him before he left the house.

Rigby also subjected Gareth to physical abuse, resulting in a scar on his nose from being struck with a glass candle holder. 

In March 2022, Gareth reached out to the police, and she was placed under a restraining order for five years.