A young man has told how he was ten days away from death after a sustained campaign of domestic abuse by his controlling girlfriend.
Alex Skeel, 22, spoke out this week after his slightly-built partner Jordan Worth was jailed for seven years.
She is the first female in the UK ever to be convicted for coercive and controlling behaviour.
The court heard how Worth exercised a reign of terror on Alex at the home the pair shared in Stewartby.
She subjected him to numerous physical attacks, denied him food and bedding, took over his Facebook account and banned him from contacting his family.
Finally she threw scalding hot water over him, causing second and third degree burns to his legs and arms, a court heard.
His injuries, which he tried to treat by wrapping in cling film, were only discovered when worried neighbours called the police.
After the court case, Alex waived his right to anonymity in order to help other victims of domestic abuse.
He said: “The hospital told me I was ten days away from death. I believe the reason I survived to tell my story is to help others going through a similar ordeal.
“I would urge anyone in the same situation to ask for help. Bedfordshire Police were fantastic and I do believe they saved my life.”
Alex met Worth at the age of 16, when they were both at college. He was already vulnerable because he suffers from hydrocephalus – a build up of fluid inside the skull.
The court heard Worth controlled every aspect of his life to cause him repeated physical and psychological harm.
But Alex, who was seen by neighbours limping, wearing a sling, or sporting a black eye, was too scared to seek help.
He has now urged other victims not to make the same mistake, saying: “I don’t want one more person to suffer what I’ve gone through.”
Det Chief Inspector Jerry Waite, head of Bedford’s specialist Emerald Team for domestic abuse, said he was “thrilled” with Worth’s conviction. He said coercive control was subtle and can signal an abusive relationship. He assured other victims they will be listened to if they call police or the 24-hour National Domestic Violence helpline 0808 2000 247.
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