An abusive boyfriend who terrorized his girlfriend by putting out cigarettes on her neck and pouring bleach over her has somehow managed to avoid prison. Ryan Barr, AKA Romeo Barr, put the unnamed women through “disgusting” abuse, with the 24-year-old being found guilty of behaviors including spitting on her, kicking and biting her in the face, and even hit their dog in front of her, the Mirror reports. The man from Liverpool in the United Kingdom even forced her to take out loans, placing her into debt. However, he won’t spend any time in jail since a judge believe he’s changed his ways.
- He has a history of manipulation. The Liverpool Echo reports that Barr met the victim back in 2018 and after they began dating, he quickly invited her to move into his home at Four Acre Lane, Clock Face, St. Helens. However, as the prosecution revealed during his trial, it wasn’t long before things “deteriorated” severely. Prosecutor Louise McCloskey told the court: “The defendant would become aggressive in drink, call her names such as ‘slag,’ spit on her and throw things around. This behavior then began to develop even when the defendant was not in drink.”
- Barr was “jealous and controlling.” Not only did Barr physically abuse the victim, but he also forbid her from going out with friends and going to university classes as well as monitoring her phone. At times he became so jealous that he smashed her phone and spent much of his time being “angry and moody” around her.
- The abuse the victim described was terrible. Barr is said to have thrown cold water over her while she was in the shower, then kicked her in the face when she bent over to pick up a towel. When she cried, he told her he didn’t feel bad for her. The prosecution also revealed that the victim described being “hit with a hairbrush or remote control, having her hair pulled, him stubbing out cigarettes on her back or her neck when she was asleep, and an occasion when bleach was poured on her and she described it taking days to remove the smell from her body.”
- He abused her for the final time in 2018. On July 4, 2018, the victim went with some friends to a nightclub in Liverpool and “the defendant saw her, spat at her and bit her jaw, followed the complainant back to the flat where she was staying at university and security staff made him leave.” She later got an order of protection against him, which he violated twice.
- He admitted to coercive and controlling behavior. This is in addition to the previous common assault charge he’d been found guilty of against the woman. While the prosecution was concerned about the way he minimized and even lied about the abuse previous to his trial, but his defense team insisted that he’d made a change in his life and was now caring for his elderly grandmother.
- The judge decided to cut Barr some slack. As Judge Andrew Menary, QC, said during sentencing: “Much of the relationship was marked by appalling and disgraceful behavior on your part. You were overbearing towards her, abusive, threatening, violent. You abused her financially in terms of taking out unnecessary and excessive loans, which plainly she has now been saddled with. The aggression and violence towards her was at times particularly unpleasant, involving for example stubbing a cigarette on her neck, or pouring bleach on her.” However, he added that Barr hadn’t offended since then and didn’t believe jailing him would do anything to prevent future offenses. Barr was sentenced to 15 months in jail, suspended for 18 months, a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, and 150 hours of unpaid work.