A MAN who ‘kidnapped’ his girlfriend during an argument in his van has been jailed.

Daniel Hughes, 30, of Ash Crescent, Harwell, Didcot, was driving in his van around the town with his partner on the evening of September 22.

Prosecutor Harper Marshall told the court that, after discussing their relationship, an argument broke out between the pair.

The court heard that the woman felt ‘trapped and held against her will’ during the journey with him that night and that, although there were a of number occasions where she got out of the vehicle, Hughes used force to get her back in.

During the ordeal, Hughes stopped off at Sainsbury’s to buy alcohol and after going into the store together they returned to the van to continue their journey.

Ms Marshall said Hughes was drinking the alcohol while he was driving and she hit him because she noticed he was also using his phone.

In return Hughes struck her in the face, causing her nose to bleed and he pulled over the vehicle, after which his partner got out, but he told her to get back in.

On another occasion during the journey, Hughes pulled over and she got out of the van but he pushed her against the vehicle telling her to get back in.

The court heard that Hughes stopped off at a petrol station and that his partner remained in the van screaming for help out of the window, her distress being recorded by members of the public.

His defence said that, although Hughes did assault his partner, there were opportunities for her to get away from the situation but she did not.

Defending, Jonathan Coode said: “They went for a walk, to Sainsbury’s, to the petrol station, but she always got back into the van. There were several occasions where she could have walked away but she didn’t.”

Judge Nigel Daly said: “The fact that she might have had the opportunity to leave the van was an opportunity she did not take because she was terrified by what you would do.

“On one occasion, you told her to get into the van and, when she said she didn’t want to, you picked her up and threw her in the van. You are a risk to the public and this requires immediate custody. This is kidnapping on the face of it.”

Hughes was jailed for two years for false imprisonment and four months for assault.