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Miserly boyfriend, 55, who rationed dishwasher tablets, made his partner count every log in their firewood stash and banned her from buying gifts for her grandchildren avoids jail for campaign of coercive behaviour
- Michael Marsh, 55, was ‘obsessed’ with saving money after getting inheritance
- He refused to share with partner Aileen Till, 54, and rationed dishwasher tablets
- After Miss Till stood up for herself, Marsh made her sleep outside in the rain
- Marsh has been ordered to pay her £250 compensation for domestic abuse
- He was also sentenced to 26 weeks jail suspended for 12 months, ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work and given a restraining order
- For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit local Samaritans
A miserly boyfriend who made his partner count every log in their stash of firewood, rationed their dishwasher tablets and banned her from buying gifts for her grandchildren has been ordered to pay her £250 compensation for domestic abuse.
Power plant operator Michael Marsh, 55, became so ‘obsessed’ with saving money and building a pension pot, he refused to share any cash with his partner Aileen Till.
Despite inheriting a substantial estate from his late mother, tight fisted Marsh ordered Miss Till, 54, to get up at night and check there were no logs missing from their outside their shed and rationed dishwasher tablets as he believed she was giving them away.
The victim, a business manager, would wrongly claim she had been treated to lunch whenever she met her daughter to avoid Marsh rebuking her for spending money. She was also banned from buying presents for her grandchildren.
Michael Marsh (pictured outside Chester Magistrates’ Court), 55, was so ‘obsessed’ with saving money, he refused to share any cash with his partner Aileen Till
When Miss Till (pictured) eventually stood up to Marsh he made her sleep on the storm porch outside their home when it was raining
When Miss Till eventually stood up to Marsh he made her sleep on the storm porch outside their home when it was raining.
She was subsequently evicted from the £300,000 property she shared with him in Warrington, Cheshire after a violent bust up. She later said the abuse she suffered made her contemplate jumping off a bridge.
At Chester Magistrates Court Marsh, who now lives in Bournemouth, was convicted of coercive behaviour and assault and was sentenced to 26 weeks jail suspended for 12 months.
He also ordered that he undertake 200 hours of unpaid work and was banned from contacting Miss Till for two years under the terms of a restraining order.
He has since agreed to give her a £10,000 share of the house where they lived together.
The court heard Marsh had inherited a large amount of cash from his late mother in 2019 but was so focused on money he would claim even the homeless should have savings.
‘He did not share any of the money and would spend it on car registrations – he was completely obsessed with them,’ Miss Till (pictured) told Chester Magistrates’ Court
Marsh (left) made Miss Till count their stash of firewood, rationed their dishwasher tablets and banned her from buying gifts for her grandchildren
During their 15-year relationship he bought a home for him and Miss Till in cash and took out a £50,000 loan for renovation work which she helped pay towards by standing order.
Miss Till, a senior customer relations manager for an energy company, told an earlier hearing: ‘He did not share any of the money and would spend it on car registrations — he was completely obsessed with them.
‘During that time he got obsessed that our neighbour was stealing our logs which we have for a log burner. He made me count them because he thought they were going missing.
‘He helped me to get up at night and count the logs — I was so embarrassed. It was the early hours of the morning. He thought he had heard our neighbour climbing the six foot fence to steal logs.
‘I did not want the neighbour to know that is what he was thinking. Then there were the dishwasher tablets. Every time I went to put the dishwasher on I thought I was going mad as there was only one in the bag. I could not understand it as I had been shopping.
Marsh told Miss Till “You deserve to be abused” and “Everyone hates you”, the court was told
‘I said we needed to buy more. But he said that I was selling them to my daughter so, I was only allowed to have one dishwasher tablet at the time.’
Miss Till said Marsh was so ‘obsessed’ with money he would not allow her to spend any cash on her daughter or grandchildren, aged six and eight, or buy her friends gifts.
Though she had her own bank account and savings, he said that all their spare money should go ‘into the pot’ towards a retirement-type home they were hoping to buy on the island of Anglesey in North Wales.
‘He would not have allowed me to give financial assistance so I would go and meet my daughter when he was on shift so that he did not know,’ she said.
‘If I did tell him I had met her, I would say that she bought me lunch or breakfast. I was worried that he would think I’d spend money on her. He said I was not allowed to give her money. I had to put it in the pot towards Anglesey.’
Emily Comer prosecuting said: ‘Mr Marsh began accusing Ms Till of stealing from him which did not have any basis.
‘He abused her and called her names, such as calling her “fat” and “fat s****”, and saying “You are disgusting”, “No-one wants you”, “You deserve to be abused” and “Everyone hates you”.
‘The language was used on a regular basis and not always in anger. It had a very serious effect on her mental health.
‘She also says that as she was blamed for everything, when things started going wrong, because he had been using that language for so long she started to believe what he was saying.’
Miss Comer said the victim would be locked out of the property on various occasions if she had just gone out for any reason.
‘She felt she was being treated like a dog, and felt humiliated and ashamed of what the neighbours would say,’ Miss Comer said.
‘On one occasion after being with Marsh and whilst feeling incredibly low, she went to a bridge and contemplated throwing herself in the river.
‘He made it difficult for her to see other people, including her close family. He did not like her speaking to anyone, including her daughter and grandchildren.
District Judge Jack McGarva also ordered Marsh to pay £748 in costs and victim surcharge
‘When the family came, he would drink and say that he did not want them around the house.
‘She didn’t have her grandchildren in the house for at a least a year because he did not want them in the house. She felt alone.’
In mitigation, defence solicitor Peter Barnett said Marsh continued to deny the charges and added: ‘They have been separated since October. The complainant moved out in April, the beginning of May. The property is owned by the defendant and is in process of being sold.
‘The complainant received a £10,000 cash sum for her interest in the property in the first week of May. Since then, they have had no direct contact.
‘The defendant is of a mind to sever his ties with the area. He is still employed at a power station in Liverpool, where he is a plant operator. On his days off, he spends his time in the south of the country as and when he feels able to go.
‘Clearly the relationship deteriorated, a relationship of some 15 years and it is quite clear that the complainant believed that there was infidelity.
‘She feels that she was let down by the dissolution of the relationship.’
District Judge Jack McGarva also ordered Marsh to pay £748 in costs and victim surcharge and told him. ‘This is a serious pair of offences. Coercive and controlling behaviour in a relationship is very insidious and covers a wide range of conduct — and in this case the conduct went on for a very long time, almost two years.
‘It was prolonged and persistent conduct and it caused serious alarm or distress which had a substantial adverse effect on the victim.’
For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit local Samaritans
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