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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Barrow domestic violence victim speaks out: ‘I am glad he can’t get to me any more’

A VICTIM of domestic violence from Barrow sat in court and watched as justice was finally served on the violent bully she once loved.

Scott Stewart, 23, pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault and criminal damage.

He was given a seven-month prison term on Monday for beating his former girlfriend, Danielle Riseley, so badly she had to have reconstructive surgery on her nose.

Stewart, a worker at Barrow’s Furness Railway pub, said to Miss Riseley, “You must really like being hit”, before he attacked her during a row.

The pair met and first started dating at the age of 15, but the relationship was to take a rapid turn and within six months he was hitting her.

The 23-year-old said: “Only his family were aware of the violence as they had to pull him off me countless times. 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.”

The couple dated on and off for years but last year Miss Riseley decided to give the relationship one last go.

She said: “It never even occurred to me to not get back with him, I loved him.”

The couple moved in together in Gloucester Street in Barrow and in February he beat Miss Riseley so badly he broke her nose.

She added: “We got a place of our own after living with his parents and the violence began to cool down.

“But then, without his parents there, he started to get angry at work and come home and scream. He claimed he cared for me but used to slap me and, as a result, I felt trapped.

“I didn’t think the police would help as I had no evidence. It was just my word against his, so even when he held my head under water and broke my nose, I couldn’t leave.

“We loved each other. We had our great days where we’d be the only two people on earth and I was certain we’d get past it and get better. But we didn’t.”

On his sentencing, Miss Riseley, who now lives on the Isle of Man, wanted to make clear she didn’t think she had “won”.

She said: “I am still left having panic attacks every time a door bangs or I am alone. I thought the world of Scott, but I am glad that he can’t get to me any more, approach me or even come anywhere near me.

“I just hope people reading this will see this story and realise that no matter which side of the abuse you are on, there is help out there.

“Without my friends and family I wouldn’t be here today.

“The support I have received from them has literally saved my life.”

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