A British man pleaded guilty to assault after he beat his girlfriend so brutally that her nose had to be rebuilt.
Scott Stewart, 23, was sentenced to seven months in jail by the Preston Crown Court.
Dating off and on since they were teenagers, Danielle Risely, 23, says it’s not the first time he hit her, but it’s the first time she pressed charges.
Risely told the court of at least one occasion during which he told her: “You must really like being hit.”
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“Only his family were aware of the violence as they had to pull him off me countless times,” she testified. “They were always a great support during difficult times in our relationship. I couldn’t tell my family as I never intended for it to get as far as it did.”
Stewart pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault and criminal damage. He defended attacking Risely by saying that she had bitten him on the wrist the night he broke her nose.
Crown Judge Mark Ainsworth pointed out the significant difference in size between Stewart and the victim.
“To most people, you are no doubt a hard-working, industrious and responsible young man at work, who is successful, well-thought of and highly regarded,” Ainsworth said. “That hides another side. Behind closed doors you are a violent bully.”
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Risely said the conviction doesn’t feel like a victory. She says she’ll always be looking over her shoulder.
“I am having panic attacks every time a door bangs or I am alone,” she told the Daily Mail. “I am glad that he can’t get to me any more, approach me or even come anywhere near me.”
She hopes that her story will convince others in abusive relationships to seek help.
“I just hope people reading this will see this story and realize that no matter which side of the abuse you are on, there is help out there," she said.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons / Fayerollinson