A woman has told a jury how ‘the justice system seemed unable to control’ the behaviour of a Stroud man who subjected her to a campaign of harassment and sexual abuse.
The Gloucester Crown Court jury accepted the woman’s account of her experiences at the hands of 46 year old Jonathan Nash and convicted him of two offences of sexually assaulting her.
At the end of a trial lasting more than a week Nash, of Allen Road, Paganhill, was remanded in custody to await sentence next month.
During the trial the jury heard that the woman had obtained restraining orders to keep Nash away from her but he continued to plague her life over a period of more than a year.
“The justice system seemed unable to control him,” she said in evidence. “He took advantage of me and began emotionally abusing me, intimidating me, controlling me.”
Prosecutor David Scutt told the jury at the start of the trial that Nash believed he had a relationship with the woman which continued for 18 months.
They had met in 2017 and were briefly involved with each other but he claimed they had a long term sexual relationship from then on, Mr Scutt said.
Nash insisted to the jury in his defence evidence that there was a relationship which was ‘very much on the go’ throughout that 18 month period.
The woman said “In October 2017, I started a new relationship and Nash quickly became jealous and began a long-term campaign of abuse, intimidation, control and manipulation.
“I wanted to move on with my life. I didn’t want all the stress, the drama, or to be subject to his control. I just wanted to be free.
“I got a restraining order imposed to prevent him from contacting me after he had assaulted me and my new partner, but this didn’t do any good.
“The justice system seemed unable to control Nash.
“He has breached the restraining order on many occasions.
“The breaches became the ‘norm’ as he constantly ignored them and in the end I gave up reporting them.”
The woman said that in December 2018, Nash had ‘charmed his way into my home’ and then assaulted her, which Nash denied.
Mr Scutt added: “Nash was convicted in September 2018 of common assault of the victim’s partner and the battery of the woman and harassment. Nash was also made subject of a restraining order by the courts.
“And within a month Nash was convicted of breaching that order, and again in December 2018. In January 2019, he breached the order again as he did in April that year. He was subsequently jailed for seven months.”
The woman explained that by January 7, 2019 she had a panic alarm installed and had prepared an emergency bag. But she was stopped in her tracks when Nash barged in and said he was going to hand himself in to the police and that they needed to talk.
Mr Scutt added: “This very quickly turned into a sexual assault.”
Nash claimed to police when he was interviewed that the woman had lied about everything.
Tabby McFarlane, defending, said Nash insisted there was a consensual relationship between him and the woman throughout and that the sexual assaults never happened in the way she described.
After two hours and 28 minutes the jury unanimously found Nash guilty of a sexual assault between December 3, 2018 and January 3, 2019 and sexual assault on the same woman on January 7, 2019.
Nash had already pleaded guilty to breaching a sexual harm prevention order between December 9, 2018 and January 3, 2019 and on January 7, 2019 by attending her address on both occasions when he was prohibited from so doing.
The Judge, Recorder Kate Brunner QC, remanded Nash custody until she passes sentence on him on March 25, 2021.