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Man, 40, taunted over his weight, hair and breath by controlling girlfriend who wouldn’t let him have a key even after he spent £40,000 on rent and gifts slams her sentence after she avoided jail

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A man who was taunted over his weight, hair and breath by his controlling girlfriend has slammed her sentence after she avoided jail. 

Sarah Rigby, 41, made NHS project manager Gareth Jones, 40, eat salad, wear a hat and swallow toothpaste and mouthwash in the wrongful belief he was fat, bald and had halitosis.

Rigby’s abuse against her boyfriend included stopping him from showering or using the toilet in the house, as well as making him sleep on the floor without a duvet as a punishment.

She stopped him from seeing family and friends, and if he didn’t comply with her orders she would even stop him from eating. 

Rigby was handed a 20 month sentence suspended for two years. She is also required to complete 35 days of rehabilitation and was handed a five-year restraining order. 

Mr Jones said he feels that had the perpetrator been a man, the sentence would have been ‘completely different’. 

Gareth Jones, 40, (pictured) was subjected to a campaign of abuse by his girlfriend Sarah Rigby

Gareth Jones, 40, (pictured) was subjected to a campaign of abuse by his girlfriend Sarah Rigby 

Sarah Rigby, 41, (pictured) made Mr Jones eat salad, wear a hat and swallow toothpaste and mouthwash in the wrongful belief he was fat, bald and had halitosis

Sarah Rigby, 41, (pictured) made Mr Jones eat salad, wear a hat and swallow toothpaste and mouthwash in the wrongful belief he was fat, bald and had halitosis

‘I feel that if it was a man, then it probably would be a completely different outcome. I think it shows that if you are a female abuser and you do commit such atrocities, […], especially what I experienced, that you can still in essence get away with things,’ he told ITV News. 

‘I think it’s very important that we turn the narrative around.’ 

He added: ‘I think it is important to note that it is not always the male that is the perpetrator, and that these things can and do happen out there.’ 

Speaking about how Rigby’s campaign of abuse started, Mr Jones said: ‘It was a lot of love, and love bombing as they call it, it was very overpowering and then obviously gradually the abuse and things set in.

‘I became so nervous about eating anything on fear that if I went back, I was told that I either have a smell of onion or garlic on my breath. I became so scared that I didn’t actually eat anything when I was with my parents. 

‘I was still forced to drink mouthwash and eat toothpaste.’

Mr Jones said he feels that had the perpetrator been a man, the sentence would have been 'completely different'

Mr Jones said he feels that had the perpetrator been a man, the sentence would have been ‘completely different’

Rigby pictured outside court after conducting the campaign of abuse against her boyfriend

Rigby pictured outside court after conducting the campaign of abuse against her boyfriend 

Rigby's abuse against Mr Jones included stopping him from showering or using the toilet in the house

Rigby’s abuse against Mr Jones included stopping him from showering or using the toilet in the house

Mr Jones said he spent as much as £40,000 on gifts and rent for Rigby, despite not being given a key to the property or being allowed to stay there alone.  

‘We were on a weekend away in London, and basically I was told to go into Harrods, and I […] had my arm grabbed, and clawed so deep that I actually started bleeding underneath my sweater,’ he said. 

‘I was told: ”We are not leaving this shop until you buy me something expensive.” 

‘I think it was probably close into the region of between £30,000 and £40,000, between everything I had to pay for including to pay rent for a property although I was never provided with a key, or allowed to stay in the property on my own.’ 

Mr Jones added: ‘I thought probably that if I’d stayed in [the relationship] any longer, that things would have ended up a lot worse for me.’

When asked why he stayed in the relationship, he said: ‘It does become the normal for you.’ 



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