BOOTED

In Front Of My Baby...

Pick Me Up! - - FRONT PAGE - Natalie Smith, 29, Mid­lands

Some of us just can’t re­sist a bad boy! When I met Jed Thorpe through friends, in Fe­bru­ary 2014, he was cov­ered in tat­toos, wear­ing a base­ball cap, and full of chat.

But, un­der­neath the bad­boy im­age, he was a kind, charm­ing joker.

We just clicked, spent hours talk­ing and laugh­ing. Four years younger than me, he worked as a labourer and lived with his dad.

I was sin­gle, liv­ing in a shared house, and couldn’t work be­cause of hip prob­lems.

Me and Jed started meet­ing up and talk­ing on the phone.

Then, a cou­ple of weeks on, he came to stay at my place, and we be­came an item.

‘I want to marry you one day and have chil­dren,’ Jed said.

‘I’ve al­ways wanted to be a mum,’ I agreed, in love.

Sud­den out­burst

In the May, we moved in to­gether in his home­town of Le­ices­ter. It was strange be­ing so far away from friends and fam­ily, but I kept in touch with them via Face­book.

But then Jed started get­ting funny about it.

‘Who’s that bloke who’s liked your post?’ he fumed, in De­cem­ber 2014.

‘Just an old mate,’ I replied.

But Jed flew off the han­dle.

‘You fat, ugly trout!’ he spat.

What on earth..? Shocked, I tried to write it off as a heat-of-the­mo­ment out­burst. Plus, I had other things to think about when I dis­cov­ered I was preg­nant. ‘It’s what I’ve al­ways wanted,’ I beamed.

Jed seemed happy, too. But, as the preg­nancy pro­gressed, he be­came re­ally jeal­ous, in­sisted on go­ing every­where with me.

If he wanted to go out and see his mates, he’d take me to his mum’s first, so I wasn’t alone. But he’d roll back in the early hours.

‘You’re go­ing to have to calm things down when the baby comes,’ I warned.

‘I’ll sort my­self out,’ he promised.

By then, I’d stopped us­ing Face­book, barely saw my fam­ily.

When I went into labour in Au­gust 2015, I wanted my mum there with me. But…

‘It’s me and you,’ Jed said. ‘No-one else.’

Af­ter, when our daugh­ter was just a week old, in­stead of be­ing the dot­ing dad, he got a ridicu­lous idea in his head…

‘You’re let­ting peo­ple into the house in the night!’ he raged.

‘What?’ I gasped. ‘I’m get­ting up to feed the baby!’

Eyes blood­shot, I was ter­ri­fied of Jed, des­per­ately wanted to leave. But he threat­ened to take our girl.

I loved her too much to risk it. So I stayed.

He be­gan screw­ing the doors shut, lock­ing the win­dows

A pris­oner

The fol­low­ing month, Jed ad­mit­ted kiss­ing an­other girl. Fu­ri­ous, I dumped him. But he per­suaded me to take him back. Only, some days, he’d screw the doors shut, lock the win­dows… ‘You’ve been let­ting peo­ple into the house!’ he’d rage. ‘Don’t be ridicu­lous!’ I gasped.

Of­ten a pris­oner in my own

home, I couldn’t see a way out.

Then, on 31 Jan­uary this year, Jed went to his dad’s, and I was on the way to his mum’s when I spot­ted the girl he’d kissed driv­ing to­wards his dad’s.

I think there’s some­one on the way to see you, I texted Jed, fu­ri­ous.

He didn’t re­ply for ages, but then he turned up at his mum’s, rag­ing that I was hav­ing an af­fair.

Scared, I was try­ing to bun­dle our daugh­ter into the car, when Jed leant over and punched me in the nose.

I raced back in­side, but Jed fol­lowed me.

‘Get the f*ck in the car!’ he bel­lowed at me.

‘No, get off me!’ I screamed . And that was the last thing I re­mem­bered…

When I came to, five hours later, I was in a hos­pi­tal bed.

Nurses ex­plained

I’d been brought to Le­ices­ter Royal In­fir­mary, and my daugh­ter was be­ing looked af­ter by my mum.

When I looked at my­self in the mir­ror,

I was hor­ri­fied.

‘I look like Franken­stein’s mon­ster!’ I gasped, sud­denly spot­ting a foot­print across my cheek.

‘You’ve got ex­treme swelling, two frac­tures to your left eye socket and bleed­ing on the brain, as well as bruis­ing to your arm and shoul­der,’ the doc­tor ex­plained.

Po­lice of­fi­cers took pho­tos, and I had three CT scans in the next 24 hours.

Even­tu­ally, Jed handed him­self into po­lice.

I felt re­lieved, but an­gry. How could he do this to me? And in front of his 17-month-old daugh­ter, too?

My eye was too swollen for doc­tors to as­sess if I’d lost my sight, so I was re­leased the fol­low­ing day.

Ter­ri­fied

Mum broke down in tears when she saw the state of me. ‘Why didn’t you reach out to me?’ she asked.

‘I couldn’t, Mum, I’m sorry,’ I sobbed.

Un­der Jed’s spell, ter­ri­fied of the reper­cus­sions, I’d cut off ev­ery­one who cared about me.

Jed Thorpe was re­manded in cus­tody, and ad­mit­ted in­flict­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm with in­tent.

In Au­gust, I went to Le­ices­ter Crown Court to wit­ness him be­ing handed his sen­tence.

Thank­fully, he was jailed for nine years and given an in­def­i­nite re­strain­ing or­der, ban­ning him from con­tact­ing me or com­ing to my home town. Jus­tice.

I’ve had to have an op­er­a­tion to fit a metal plate in my eye socket. I didn’t lose my sight, but I suf­fer with dou­ble vi­sion in that eye.

My con­fi­dence is at rock bot­tom be­cause I’m so self-con­scious about how my face looks, but I’m de­ter­mined to stay pos­i­tive for the sake of my daugh­ter.

She’s the only good thing to have come out of our re­la­tion­ship.

Apart from hav­ing her with him, I wish I’d never met Jed Thorpe.

I’m de­ter­mined to stay pos­i­tive for my daugh­ter

I Was A Pris­oner

I’d thought we were so happy

Jed used his strength against me

I FELL FOR A BAD BOY

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