A DENBIGH man has been found guilty of using coercive behaviour towards his former partner as well as driving off in her van while she clung to the bonnet.

Damien George, aged 34 and of Bro Wen, appeared before Mold Crown Court this week.

He was said to have been controlling and violent during his four-month relationship with Alexandra Lee, who felt under pressure to ditch her “alternative image” for a more conventional wardrobe and stop seeing certain friends.

Ms Lee said she was persuaded to install a GPS tracker app on her mobile phone so George knew where she was at all times.

Then George stepped up his abusive behaviour and assaulted Ms Lee several times, prosecuting barrister Simon Mintz told Mold Crown Court.

He threw the small business owner against a wardrobe door at the home they were sharing in Corwen and hit her with a wheel brace as she filmed him interfering with her van outside a holiday cottage she was cleaning.

Ms Lee told the court: “I had pink hair and piercings when I first met him (George), but he said I looked prettier if I went blonde.

“He wanted me to look nice and it was his idea that I should look quite plain and simple.

“He was very paranoid. The GPS app meant he could see where I was.

“I thought he loved me so much, so I just kept going on with it.”

The court heard initially the couple’s relationship was a good one and there had been talk of marriage.

But Mr Mintz said: “Things went rapidly downhill at Christmas 2017 because the defendant became increasingly controlling in his behaviour with regard to what his partner did, who she saw and what she wore.”

When the pair rowed about Ms Lee meeting her former partner, George grabbed her around the throat and threw her onto the bed.

He drove off in the van Ms Lee used for her house-cleaning business, but she had perched on the bonnet to prevent him from taking the vehicle.

The pair split up briefly and when Ms Lee took some of George’s clothes around to his parents’ house the court was told he left her with bruised ribs after pushing her onto the central console of the vehicle.

After they got back together, the hearing was told, George assaulted her again after he turned off the wi-fi while she was working and kept her van keys so she could not fulfil a meeting with a business client.

“He dragged her up to the bedroom and slammed her against the wardrobe door. She pulled off the door and threw a glass at him to scare him off but it was to no avail,” said the prosecutor, who revealed a third “serious” incident took place when George confronted Ms Lee at a holiday home in July last year.

She filmed him after she spotted him kneeling by her van and when she went out to confront him he struck her on the foot with a wheel brace and hit her in the eye before throwing her to the ground.

Ms Lee called her sister for help and it was claimed George followed them as they drove off while she hid herself in the footwell of the van.

Ms Lee suffered a black eye and bruising to the foot in that incident and bruising around her neck in the first assault.

Finally, she reported George to the police after he contacted her while she was meeting the defendant’s former partner in St. Asaph.

George claimed the bruising to Ms Lee’s neck was the result of the couple’s “sex play”.

He denied he was controlling during their short relationship and rejected claims he had turned to violence,saying he was attacked, himself, by Ms Lee.

The bruised ribs Ms Lee sustained, she said when the defendant pushed her onto the van’s wheel console, he claimed may have happened when the pair were pushing an old fishing boat through a gate near her home at Clawdd Poncen.

George said Ms Lee “flipped” when he turned her wi-fi off and hit him with a broom before pulling the door off the wardrobe and throwing a glass at the back of his head.

In the incident outside the holiday home he told the court he pretended to take the wheel off her van to get her attention and admitted he had been “childish” taking the aerial off the vehicle.

He claimed he ran towards her when she saw him filming him and dropped the wheel brace he was holding.

“I turned around and had a bang to the back of my head – it was from Alex, it was enough to put me on my knees. I had a sore head and a lump.

“She jumped on my back and started to bite and scratch me,” he said.

George said there was nothing sinister about the GPS phone app which was a simple location finder used on Snapchat.

And he denied making Ms Lee alter her appearance, saying: “I didn’t mind it. She was piercing people when I was with her, they would come around the house.”

Mr Mintz asked George whether he considered himself to be a “controlling individual” - to which he said no.

Defending, Matthew Dunford told the Jury: “It is not a criminal offence for a relationship to fail. This is more than a relationship breakdown and from what you’ve heard you may think his behaviour has not always been what it should have been.

“But that doesn’t mean he is guilty of these offences.”

After the Jury returned, George was found guilty of the coercive behaviour and dangerous driving in relation to the incident in which Ms Lee was on the bonnet of the vehicle.

In relation to a third charge, in which he was alleged to have pulled out in front of Ms Lee’s vehicle, he was found not guilty.

Judge Niclas Parry extended George’s bail until the next hearing, which will take place on November 4, and requested a full pre-sentence report be completed.

He warned George to prepare himself for all sentencing options, including custody.