Too dangerous to date!
Why my ex comes with his own health warning Chloe Buck, 22, Goole, East Yorkshire
When a friend request from Jonathan Binks, 25, popped up on my Facebook, I clicked through to look at his profile.
With spiky hair and glasses, he looked cute, if a bit geeky.
Hey beautiful, how are you?
he messaged minutes later. I was intrigued. We agreed to meet for a drink in the local pub. ‘You’re gorgeous,’ he grinned.
The next day, he wanted to make our relationship official on Facebook.
But after such a lovely date, I threw caution to the wind.
It was September 2014 and after a rough couple of years, I wondered if Jony would bring me the slice of happiness I reckoned was badly overdue.
Things continued at breakneck speed.
Within weeks, I’d moved from my hostel into his flat.
‘I’d love to have kids with you,’ he told me one night. ‘I’m only 18,’ I laughed. But secretly, the idea of a baby made me giddy. So when I fell pregnant weeks later, I was over the moon.
Jony was, too. Not only that, he was instantly protective.
‘I need to know where you’re going today,’ Jony said as he left for work as a tyre fitter.
‘I might pop into town,’ I shrugged.
‘I’d rather you stayed here, now that you’re carrying my baby,’ he said coolly.
At first, I thought he was joking – but he looked serious.
Days later, he got drunk and started shouting at me. ‘You’re an ugly slag,’ he spat. Taking his rage out on the flat, he smashed a pint glass and kicked the coffee table across the room. I was confused and scared, tears streaming down my face. Afterwards, he came and hugged me tightly. ‘I didn’t mean it,’ he sobbed. I didn’t know what to say, so I just stood there limply, my heart racing. But the outbursts only got worse. When I was six months pregnant, Jony shoved me after a row, spitting in my face. Next morning, he texted me from work.
Look out the window.
Peering out, I saw the lawn was scattered with red roses, spelling out three words.
I love you.
My head and heart doing a tug of war, I relented. For the sake of our baby, I gave Jony another chance. In July 2015, our beautiful son Harvey was born. He was the light of my life, but Jony seemed set on ruining things. His mood swings were ferocious. One minute he was declaring his love, the next... ‘Even Harvey thinks you’re a cr*p mum,’ he sneered one day when our boy wouldn’t stop crying. ‘Well, why don’t you look after him, then?’ I cried, exasperated.
Jony always moaned that he was too tired to help, but he was never too tired for sex.
And in May 2016, I found out I was expecting again.
‘Harvey is going to have a little playmate,’ I beamed. ‘Whose is it?’ Jony scowled. ‘Yours!’ I said, shocked. ‘Rubbish,’ he spat. ‘Get that baby aborted or I’ll throw you down the stairs and do it for you.’
Shaking, I stormed out.
How could a man who looked so timid be so nasty?
I’d started to hate him, but I felt trapped.
Jony never failed to point out when I put on weight, making me loathe my body.
Feeling ugly, I was certain that if I left Jony, nobody else would have me. So I stayed.
Weeks later, at the supermarket, I was pushing Harvey in his pram.
Jony stormed off ahead in another huff.
When I caught up with him, he snapped, ‘What are you walking so slowly for?’
Then he head-butted me hard in the face.
I burst into tears, my forehead throbbing, and staggered home.
Instead of making it up to me, Jony ignored me for days. I’d never felt so alone. But with a toddler and another baby on the way, I saw no way out.
A few months later, I was
How could a man who looked so timid be so nasty..?
painting the nursery for the new baby.
‘Can you give me a hand?’ I called to Jony.
He came and looked in, and a dark scowl swept over his face.
‘You’ve done a rubbish job,’ he told me.
He grabbed a tin of white paint and poured it over my head, howling with laughter.
Paint filled my mouth and stung my eyes, and I stumbled to the bathroom to wash it off.
That was the final straw.
I moved into my own place, blocked Jony’s number and got a restraining order against him.
In February 2017, I gave birth to Toby, with my sister Sarah, 35, by my side. My baby was perfect. A reminder that fresh starts are possible.
So when an old friend asked me out on a date, I agreed.
But while we were at the bar, Jony appeared.
He walked straight over and punched my date in the back of the head.
I reported the incident to the police and Jony was arrested.
In June this year, Jonathan Binks, 29, appeared at Beverley Magistrates Court. He pleaded guilty to breaching his restraining order against me and was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison.
He also got another 16 weeks for assaulting two other women, and eight weeks for assaulting my date.
Unusually, the court imposed a Criminal Behaviour Order, stating that Binks has to alert the court within two weeks of starting a new relationship, so the women he dates can be warned of his history. It makes me feel better knowing that Binks will be monitored and steps will be taken to protect his future girlfriends. But after everything he put me through, I think he’s got off lightly. I’m having counselling for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and if it wasn’t for the support I’ve had from a domestic abuse charity, I don’t know how I would have carried on. Now I live for my two boys. I want them both to grow up into decent men who treat women with respect, not like their dad.
After what he put me through, he’s got off lightly
For help and support, call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or visit refuge. org.uk
I was bruised and humiliated
I thought Jony would bring me happiness