A MAN allegedly banned his ex-girlfriend from leaving him by forcing her to move towns with him and threatening her with a knife.

Jon Craig Doherty has been remanded in custody after being charged with four offences when he appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court on Saturday from custody.

The court heard the 27-year-old, who is originally from Barrow but now lives in Warrington, allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend Rebecca Hetherington in Barrow causing actual bodily harm.

The following day, Doherty was allegedly caught in the Furness Railway in Abbey Road with a knife, and he also allegedly sent a number of threatening texts to Miss Hetherington.

He was later allegedly found with a knife on a second occasion in Abbey Road.

The court also heard that between November and December Doherty allegedly used controlling and coercive behaviour to prevent Miss Hetherington from leaving him.

He allegedly forced her to go everywhere with him, to move towns with him, threatened her with a knife, put her in fear of danger, and prevented her from leaving him.

He also allegedly assaulted her causing her actual bodily harm on a second occasion.

Doherty, who was represented in court by Mike Graham, was refused bail and remanded in custody.

He will next appear at Preston Crown Court on January 3.

The law was changed in 2015 to recognise psychological manipulation, or coercive control as a form of domestic abuse.

It refers to an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten the victim.

Some 9,053 offences were recorded in the year ending March 2018, but had climbed to 17,616 by March this year.

Sandra Horley from Refuge,a charity which helps domestic violence victims, said: “It is clear that the likelihood of women and girls experiencing domestic abuse is increasing.

“This is devastating news given this time last year we knew one in four women would experience domestic abuse – this figure is now edging towards one in three. This rise is set against a backdrop of lower conviction rates. These statistics are a national travesty.”