Champion gundog trainer, 48, avoids jail for harassing his girlfriend – as she tells how fame of being awarded Kennel Club trophy by the Queen turned him into a ‘monster’
- Jamie Smith was hailed as one of UK’s best after winning gong at Sandringham
- But shortly after he began dating Cara Craven he started harassing her
- Smith avoided a prison term but was handed an 18-month community order
- After admitting harassment, two charges of assault by beating will lay on file
A champion gundog trainer has avoided jail for harassing his girlfriend, as she reveals how the fame of being presented with a top award by the Queen turned him into ‘a monster’.
Jamie Smith, 48, was hailed as one of the best dog trainers in Britain after he won a prestigious Kennel Club competition at the Royal Sandringham Estate.
Shortly after he shook hands with the monarch following his triumph in January 2018, Smith met Cara Craven on a dating website.
But just months into the relationship, Smith started going through the mother-of-one’s phone and harassing her.
Jamie Smith, 48, was hailed as one of the best dog trainers in Britain after he won a prestigious Kennel Club competition at the Royal Sandringham Estate and was presented with a trophy by the Queen, pictured
Shortly after he shook hands with the monarch following his triumph in January 2018, Jamie Smith met Cara Craven (pictured together) on a dating website. But just months into the relationship, Smith started going through her phone and harassing her
Smith pictured with the dog which helped him win the prestigious award back in 2018
Last month Smith was handed an 18-month community order and told to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work after he admitted harassment.
Two charges of assault by beating were allowed to lie on file at Lincoln Crown Court.
One related to an incident when the pair almost crashed when the handbrake was pulled at 60mph while they travelled on a country lane.
The other charge was a claim Smith attacked Cara in their bedroom.
Cara, 41, who lives with her son Dexter, 17, in Marshaple, Lincs., has spoken out about her ordeal to inspire other women who are in similar situations.
She said: ‘I met Jamie in June 2018 and it was all absolutely beautiful, he was charming and like my knight in shining armour, my dream man.
‘I was thinking I’m going to be with this man for the rest of my life.
‘He was very into his work and was proud of being presented with an award by the Queen. He said it was the highlight of his career.
‘He was defined by that moment and he brought it up in every conversation with people.
‘It went to his head and he became obsessed with how he looked on social media. I think meeting the Queen turned him into a monster.
Cara, 41, who lives with her son Dexter, 17, in Marshaple, Lincs., has spoken out about her ordeal to inspire other women who are in similar situations
‘In his world of gundog training he was very well known and he built his reputation off the back of it.
‘He would post on social media about how wonderful our life was but behind closed doors it was very different.
‘The first time I noticed a change in him was when I at his flat with my son and we were watching a movie and he just went in a complete and utter mood and ignored me.
‘He said he was really upset that I wasn’t cuddling up to him on the sofa.’
On another occasion, Cara claims Smith flew into a jealous rage when she gave his work colleague a hug to thank him for fixing her car.
She said: ‘We had gone to the pub and I stood up and went over and gave his friend a hug and said thank you so much for all the work on my car.
‘On the way home I was driving the van that had the dogs in the back and all of a sudden he just changed and said ‘Oh my god you hugged Simon’.
‘He started yelling and screaming – I don’t know how I kept control of the van as I was sobbing.
‘We were on a country road doing about 60mph and he told me to stop the van.
‘I told him no and he pulled the handbrake.
Cara finally left Smith and with the help of hypnotherapist and life coach David Kilmurry, who rebuilt her confidence, she reported him to police
‘The van went across the other side of the road but luckily nothing was going the other way and I managed to control it and bring it to the right side and pull over.’
One another occasion in January 2019, Cara fell pregnant but suffered a miscarriage.
She said: ‘While I was at the hospital, Jamie was in my room going through my phone and as soon as I was wheeled back he asked me if I was seeing someone else.
‘He told me that he had been through my phone and found a video when I was in France of me fooling around with some other people and he didn’t like it.
‘It was completely innocent but he wouldn’t hear of it.
‘He told me he didn’t want me wearing skirts for work because I looked like a slut and accused me of wearing blouses to show off my breasts to work colleagues.’
Despite their volatile relationship, Smith – who runs Claxbywold Gundogs – moved in with Cara and Dexter.
She added: ‘We had a joint bank account but I had to ask permission before I could spend any money.
‘I applied for my own account but when he found out he said I had ruined our relationship and demanded I close it.’
Cara finally left Smith and with the help of hypnotherapist and life coach David Kilmurry, who rebuilt her confidence, she reported him to police.
During the hearing on December 14, the prosecution offered no evidence to a charge of controlling and coercive behaviour.
Since the case, Cara has joined forces with a charity which helps women who have been harassed and abused by their partners.
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