Video & audio transcript
Presenter: Hello and welcome to another episode of Cambs Cops our stories. Sadly, each year we deal with thousands of reports of domestic abuse, but we're working around the clock to bring offenders to justice.
In this episode we speak anonymously to a brave domestic abuse survivor who suffered threats and physical abuse at the hands of her ex-partner and hopes to encourage other victims to speak out. We will also be hearing from Detective Constable Jess Day who investigated this case and will explain the support available to sufferers of abuse.
Survivor: I met him through mutual friends and we just hit it off basically straight away and that was in May 2019. It was really good in the beginning, he wasn't physical straight away, but he was emotionally abusive pretty much straight away. I had gone on a night out a week after I'd first got with him and he was ringing, asking me for videos of where I was and accusing me of stuff and yeah it got abusive pretty quickly. It wasn't until we'd been together about a month and he beat me and hurt me for hours and hours and hours, like it was never ending. After that I just felt like I was just stuck with him at that point. At the time I felt confused as to why like somebody that I loved so much and who I thought like loved me, was doing that to me. I felt horrible he made me feel like worthless.
DC Jess Day: So initially kind of what my attention is really how tragic the case was, you know how young the victim and offender both were, but how much had happened between them and I felt like we'd really only scratch the surface on what had happened between the victim and offender and possible offenses that had been committed. I remember that I was on late turn shift that day, my day turn officers had already been kind of conducting enquiries into the allegation. Unfortunately, because of the injuries that the victim sustained she wasn't really in a place to speak with us that morning so he kind of had to go on statements from other involved persons and witnesses and hearing details of what the victim had been through, assault threats to kill against her and her family. I was just really concerned about the ongoing safety of the victim and her family so we were all really driven as a team to kind of make sure we could do everything that we could to get to the bottom of what happened and obviously get justice.
Survivor: So every single day, every single day I was accused of sleeping with his friends or not being where I said I was and that was daily. He would always like put me down and be horrible to me. Then he'd like make up for it by going and buying me some expensive clothes, or shoes, or bags like he always got me to forgive him.
I was we was arguing and he was getting really angry and he threw all my stuff outside. I was with my daughter and I tried to leave and he tried to snap my car door off and rip my little girl out of my arms. It wasn't until he had scared me around her, that I realized I couldn't be with him anymore and he was a really like dangerous person.
So social services were involved at the time because of his history he had had and people worried about me so they reported me to social services and I told them what had been going on. They got me into a women's refuge and I stayed there for a while.
DC Jess Day: So there were kind of many different elements to the investigation and the offender was arrested on the night of the incident itself, so after receiving the initial report from the victim's mum about the kind of ongoing abuse and abuse that was actually occurring at that present moment, response officers went to the offender's home address to try and apprehend him. However, neither the victim or offender were there at that time. Obviously that raised concerns for everyone involved you know where were they what was going on? Our main priority was obviously safeguarding the victim and making sure that we were there to kind of offer any help and and get her any medical attention should she need it.
However, when the offender saw that the police were at his house he returned with the victim but he'd actually told the victim not to tell police the reasons why you know she had sustained those injuries and actually told her to tell the police that they were in a car accident in a way to try and explain away her injuries. However, it didn't really fool police and officers arrested him immediately. He was brought into custody which is luckily where he stayed and luckily we did manage to secure a number of offences, charges should I say, against the suspect and he was remanded in custody and then remanded in prison until his trial.
An independent domestic violence adviser was provided to the victim, along with alarm systems she, was referred to Victim's Hub, markers were placed on her phone in address, so if she was to call us again it would highlight to our control centre the previous history between the two and to make officers aware of the history and that we needed to get there obviously as soon as we possibly could.
Survivor: The police were actually really good they really supported me, any like any little questions that I had about what was going on and if I was worried I could just ring up and they would put my mind at ease and they honestly did support me throughout the whole time of him being arrested, to him being sentenced.
DC Jess Day: Initially he pleaded guilty to two counts of threats to kill against the victim's family members but pleaded not guilty to all offences against the victim, so it did go all the way to crown court trial, and then on the first day of the trial, the morning of, the the suspect decides to plead guilty to the further offences which were two counts of ABH against the victim and also threats to kill against the victim. The defence actually wished for the suspect to be sentenced on that day, but rightly so the judge refused that so they could consider the suspect's previous offending history and his dangerousness and obviously risk if he if he was released. So, he was sentenced the following month and in total he was given 54 months. So, he was given 20 months for each ABH, 54 months for threats to kill, six months for another threats to kill and six months for another threats to kill and they were all to run concurrently which gave the total of 54 months. So, in relation to the threats to kill which obviously gave the highest sentencing time that is one of the highest sentencing you can get for threats to kill, so in sentencing terms and categories it was graded as within the most kind of severe category and there was also a indefinite restraining order in place, which means that he can't contact the victim or her family when he is released from prison.
Survivor: It just makes me feel safe knowing that he's not around anymore and that he can't come anywhere near me ever again and knowing that he's paying for what he'd done because he'd got away with so many things in the past it's a good feeling to know that he's where he belongs.
DC Jess Day: I would just urge anyone who is going through anything or knows of anyone who's going through anything just to urge them to report any incidents of domestic abuse to the police, because you know we are here to help and do everything that we can and each allegation we hear about or incident we go to we take things very seriously and and we are there to to serve and protect you. So if there is anything going on or any advice that you need please don't be hesitant to call police. I know that some people are hesitant so you know there's also some great organizations and charities and helplines out there for people to speak to, so people like the Domestic Abuse Helpline, Women's Aid, there's also people or organizations especially targeted to helping men who may experience domestic violence as well, so Respect and Mankind initiative Survivors UK, there's loads of things out there kind of online that that are there to help you and you can report things anonymously if you're not ready to take that step yet. I would just always say speak to someone about it because you know you can't handle everything by yourself.
Survivor: Don't be scared, if you can get out and safely leave don't be worried about what happens next, because there's so many places that will help you. You can like go into boots and tell them you're going through it and they'll help you like there's so many things, they can get you into a refuge like you will be safe and you should do it because you never know like I could have died and it's just thinking that other people are going through that is horrible.
You know if you do have concerns about a new partner that you might be with or concerned about a family member a friend's new partner and then under Claire's Law you can apply for disclosure of information about that new partner's domestic abuse history. There's a lot of information about online and you can do that through your local police so you know there's information on the Cambs Police website about that too and I think that's a really key tool that we have to kind of safeguard potential victims or people who are in a new relationship and do have those concerns.
My life now is honestly the best it has ever been. Leaving him and putting him in prison was the best thing that I have ever done with my life and honestly, it's in such a good direction right now, like I'm allowed to work and do normal things and just live my life and have my friends and family back. Yeah, life is really good.
Presenter: Thank you to DC Jess Day and particularly the domestic abuse survivor for courageously coming forward to tell her story and thank you for listening. We hope you found it insightful. Remember to look out for the next episode of Cams Cops: Our Stories on our YouTube channel.
If you've been affected by the content of today's podcast or want to know more about the support options available to those suffering domestic abuse please visit our website www.cambs.police.uk/domesticabuse