Jail for ‘nasty piece of work’ who coerced then stalked ex-partner

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A former BMW agency worker forced the mother of his children to suffer a ‘catalogue of misery’.

Spencer Beel was said by the judge who sent him down for three-and-a-half years to have presented a ‘façade’ of being a ‘pretty ordinary young man’.

But Judge Michael Gledhill KC said the 25-year-old was in reality a ‘thoroughly nasty, unpleasant piece of work’.

The first crack in the façade came on the evening of January 9 this year, when he was part of a brawl at the White Horse pub in Headington.

During the fight he used a racist slur to refer to a group of Travellers at the pub. He picked up glasses from the bar to use as missiles and also attacked one of the barmen, punching him in the face.

Later that evening, when police found the bleeding defendant – injured as a result of getting involved in the brawl – he was said to have ‘recklessly’ spat at the two constables.

Later in the year, his unpleasant character was unmasked further when he was arrested and subsequently charged with allegations dating back to 2015 of controlling behaviour towards his partner, the mother of his two children, as well as with assaulting her and damaging a TV.

While on bail for the offences, he was said to have begun a campaign of stalking.

He bombarded her with phone calls, repeatedly turned up at her home and demanded – successfully, on occasion – that she withdraw her police statements. In one demand, he asked: “What have you told police? I’m going to ruin you. I’m going to get your benefits stopped.”

Beel also trolled her social media account, setting up fake profiles designed to humiliate her and posting her personal contact details on videos she had posted.

The abuse had forced her to move and had a serious effect on her health, she said in a victim personal statement.

Summarising the domestic abuse the victim suffered, Judge Gledhill told Beel: “It is a catalogue of misery for the mother of your children and you are wholly responsible for the plight she has laboured under since then.”

Beel, of Kingston Road, Oxford, was convicted of controlling and coercive behaviour, causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage. He admitted stalking, threatening behaviour, racially-aggravated disorderly behaviour, assault by beating and assault on emergency workers.

Mitigating, Derek Barry said the man in the dock on Thursday was a different, more mature version of the defendant even than he had seen at an earlier stage in the case.

Beel was said to have worked as agency staff for BMW previously. Since his remand into prison he had completed a number of courses, including on anger management. Two character references had been written by officers responsible for him at Bullingdon prison.

Judge Gledhill sentenced him to 42 months’ imprisonment, noting that were he to impose separate sentences on each of the 10 offences the overall jail term would be ‘well into double figures’.

“There is hope you may grow up and stop behaving like a spoilt brat teenager, take your responsibilities seriously and become a responsible member of society,” he told Beel.

A restraining order bans the defendant from contacting his ex-partner or posting about her on social media indefinitely.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire’s court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward