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Alex Skeel: Domestic abuse survivor was ‘days from death’
A male survivor of domestic violence said he was “10 days away from death” after he was repeatedly physically and psychologically abused by his girlfriend.
Alex Skeel, 22, was battered, stabbed, burned, denied food, forced to sleep on the floor and kept away from his family by Jordan Worth, also 22, before he was finally rescued by police last year. Worth was jailed for seven years after pleading guilty to GBH with intent at Luton Crown Court. Worth was given a further six-month sentence for coercive and controlling behaviour. Police said it was the first such conviction in the UK where the offender was female.
The couple had known each other since they were 16, but during the last nine months of their relationship, Skeel said Worth subjected him to a “sustained and prolonged” campaign of abuse. “I thought my limbs might have to be amputated,” he told the Daily Mail. “I had open burns. I lost three stones in weight. I went from 10 stones down to seven. It was awful. It was three years of mental abuse and then it turned physical.” He added “I was infected from the burns pretty much all over my body. Luckily they managed to treat it.”
Skeel said he suffered four years of mental abuse and “the physical violence happened for about nine months”.
Despite his injuries, Mr Skeel said he returned to the home he shared with Worth. It was only after the intervention of a police officer, who persuaded him to reveal what was really happening, that he felt able to tell the truth. “I want to tell my story. I don’t want one more person to suffer what I’ve gone through,” he said. “The hospital told me I was 10 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.”
Speaking after the conviction earlier this week, Detective Chief Inspector Jerry Waite said: “We are thrilled with this conviction. The sentence handed down reflects the gravity with which these offences are viewed.
“Coercive control is subtle – it isn’t always obvious what’s been happening and may escalate over a period of time. The victim may not immediately recognise the behaviour as abuse. The desire to control often underpins abusive relationships and can lead to violence.”
If you are being subjected to domestic violence and are in immediate danger, call 999.
Your personal safety is of paramount importance.
For more information and advice: www.mensadviceline.org.uk, www.womensaid.org.uk