"This is it - I'm going to die" - attack victim's fear as abusive boyfriend smothered her with cushion in "prolonged" attack

"This is it - I'm going to die" - attack victim's fear as abusive boyfriend smothered her with cushion in "prolonged" attack

By Michael Upton | 10/06/2022

'This is it - I'm going to die' - attack victim's fear as abusive boyfriend smothered her with cushion in 'prolonged' attack

 

A DOMESTIC abuse survivor has told how she thought “This is it — I’m going to die” as her raging boyfriend smothered her with a cushion and threatened to kill her, before stabbing her with a kitchen knife.

The woman bravely described how 40-year-old Michael Jones (pictured) had put her through “the most terrifying night of my life” as he repeatedly punched her, tried to suffocate her and said he would tie her up and stab her.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that at one point, Jones grabbed a knife and told his petrified victim, who we have chosen not to name, they would play “Truth or Dare” as he held the blade to her chest.

And as she tried to flee his house, Jones attacked his partner with the knife, causing an abdominal wound which left her needing emergency surgery and a blood transfusion.

Reading her victim impact statement during a hearing on Monday where Jones was jailed, the woman recalled how he had threatened to “send her back” to her mother, who had died.

“I begged him for my life as I genuinely believed he would kill me,” she said.

“Whenever I close my eyes, I am terrified, as the nightmare has not left me.

“I will remember every single moment of that night forever — I can still feel him punching me in the face and feel the cushion on my face as I’m fighting to stay alive.

“I was so terrified, I genuinely believed: ‘This is it — I’m going to die.’”

The woman told the court that since the attack in February, she suffered flashbacks, was scared of crowds and loud noises and could no longer stay away from home overnight.

“Even the simple task of going to the supermarket feels like climbing Everest,” she added.

The court heard the couple had been together for 14 months and had enjoyed a happy and “fun” six months where Jones, of Mendip Rise, Brinsworth, was “kind and affectionate”.

After he assaulted her while drunk, they had not split up but she had rented a place of her own and kept a “go-bag” at his house in case of arguments.

On February 8, the couple had spent a “good day” together and watched TV in the evening but some time after the woman went to bed, Jones had come into the bedroom drunk and demanded she leave.

As she gathered some items, including a laptop for work, Jones filmed her and accused her of stealing his belongings.

“As she passed him in the kitchen, she took the phone from his hand and his response was to strike her,” said Mr Kevin Jones, prosecuting.

“It took her by surprise and knocked her to the floor.

“When she was on the floor, the defendant sat astride her and pinned her arms to the floor with his knees.

“He repeatedly slapped and punched her to the face.

“While he was pinning her to the floor and striking her, he was telling her his life was over and so was hers.

“He told her: ‘When I’m finished, you will have nothing and no-one will miss you’.

“(The victim) described him as being like he was possessed.

“She was begging him to let her go and telling him she would not tell anyone about what was happening, but he continued.

“He said to her that he was going to send her back to her mother, who is deceased.

“While she was on the floor, he placed a cushion over her face, making it difficult to breathe.

“He would take the cushion away if he stopped struggling, but as soon as she tried to get up, he would put the cushion back over her face. This happened on five or six occasions.

“At one point, he went to the kitchen...and came back armed with a knife.

“He sat astride her again, put the knife on her chest and told her they were going to play a game of Truth or Dare.

“He said her if she got a question wrong, it would be pushed into her.

“She describes how the pressure was more, but did not puncture the skin.

“The defendant told her he was going to take her upstairs, tie her to the bed and he wanted to stab her in different positions. She was obviously terrified.”

Eventually, Jones climbed off his victim and she tried to escape through the kitchen door but he stabbed her with the knife, causing her to collapse to the floor.

Paramedics were called to the scene and found the woman bleeding severely, before rushing her to hospital.

She suffered a wound to her abdomen, as well as bruising and cuts to her face and arms.
Jones, who had previous convictions for threats and battery against a former partner,
was arrested and interviewed by police, but made no comment.

Mr Ian Goldsack, mitigating, said Jones had mental health issues he had tried to medicate by drinking alcohol to excess but was now benefiting in prison from psychological intervention.

“In most circumstances, he’s a decent human being, who has a positive impact on those around him,” he added.

“There's a context where that is not the case — typically, when he’s drinking at excess, as he was in the increasing habit of doing at that time.

“He’s doing all he possibly can to try and make amends and take advantage of the help that's available.

“He is deeply ashamed of what he did.”

Recorder Dan Kolinsky, sentencing Jones, said the woman grabbing Jones’ phone “was the catalyst for excessive, unprovoked and sustained violence”.

He added: “In any view, this was a horrific assault over a sustained period of time.”

Jones, who admitted malicious wounding, was sentenced to six years in prison, of which he may serve half on licence, and handed an indefinite restraining order.

His victim told the court: “He promised to love me and protect me, and he broke that promise.

“All I can see now is the prolonged abuse, and I fear I will not be able to trust anyone again.”

But in a note of hope, she added: “Today I take the first step to putting my life back together.

“He’s no longer in control, and with help I’m rebuilding my life towards the life I deserve.”