Newcastle polygraph test proves abuse
A Newcastle polygraph test could have proved a man guilty of abuse.
A woman living in fear of her violent partner escaped his abuse by using a secret code word when she visited a pharmacist in Newcastle. The woman went into Boots pharmacy and asked for “Ani” which staff knew meant she needed help and they took her into a back room.
Police were contacted and her abuser, Anthony Ballard, was arrested and interviewed. He has now pleaded guilty to controlling and coercive behaviour and assault causing actual bodily harm. He has been jailed for two years.
Judge Stuart Driver said Ballard’s behaviour spanned months. The woman’s victim impact statement revealed she has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder requiring prescribed medication. The judge told Ballard, of Marsh Lane, Bootle, he would also impose a 10-year restraining order to keep away from his victim.
The court in Newcastle heard that at the tie of the offences Ballard was on licence having been released from prison on six year sentence for a conspiracy to commit burglaries imposed in 2017. Derek Jones, prosecuting, said the victim met 30-year-old Ballard via a dating website at the end of 2020 and for the first few months their relationship was good.
However, she soon realised he was “very insecure and very jealous and wanted to know where she had been and thinking she had been sleeping with other men”. Mr Jones said the first time Ballard was violent towards her was in March or April last year “when they were in bed and she compared him unfavourably to her previous partners. He got very angry and grabbed her by the hair.
“Ballard pinned her to the bed with one hand on her shoulder and said, ‘I’ll blow your head off’. He left her with bruising to the arm and some of her hair was pulled out.
The victim told police she had no photographs of her injuries as he would go through her phone and delete images. Ballard made disparaging remarks about her body and would tell her what shops she could go to.
Ballard would also make her take the dog with her. He thought it would mean she would not be able to go into the homes of other people. Mr Jones said Ballard was violent on a second occasion when he “poured water over her and the contents of a large ashtray on her head. She said she had never felt so humiliated in all her life”.
Mr Jones said that on another day he grabbed her by the hair and dragged her up four steps. Ballard would dictate what she wore and then deleted messages from friends on her phone and played on her insecurities. In an impact statement the woman said that she has since needed medication to sleep.
She has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and says she hates herself for what had happened. Mr Jones said: “She talks about brain fog most days and hearing his voice calling her a fat s***.
“It has left her feeling drained and her self-esteem is destroyed. She does not go out anymore unless she absolutely has to.”
Mr Jones added the victim’s relationships with friends and family has suffered and she is afraid what will happen after he is released. He said that the couple’s relationship had begun about six months after being released from his last jail sentence.
What to watch out for
Ken Heckle, defending, said that Ballard had been “obsessive and over jealous” and he should have realised what was happening in their relationship. “He was genuine about their relationship but clearly is immature about how to conduct relationships.”
Mr Heckle added that remorseful Ballard clearly needs assistance and help to deal with relationships in the future.
How a lie detector can help
Police are now using polygraph testing upon arrest of sex abusers and offenders. Taking a lie detector test this early on in a case helps police rule out suspicions or to confirm suspects guilt. Police are also making regular polygraph testing part of release terms. This has meant communities that are concerned over the release of offenders into their community have peace of mind knowing that they are held accountable to regular polygraph tests. The police believe that this has helped reduce repeat offending dramatically.
Here to help
The Maggie Oliver Foundation offer free help and support for abuse victims, you can contact them here. If you suspect someone you know is at risk of sex abuse, book your test online today. You can also call us on our free helpline on 0800 861 1058.