Terror at 70mph
As we sped down the road, he exploded with rage…
Kissing Poppy, 8 months, as she snoozed in her cot, I flopped on the sofa. It was September 2014, and I’d split with Poppy’s dad five months earlier.
My daughter was my world, but I was lonely.
Scrolling through Facebook, a friend request popped up from Mitchell AudleyEllis, 19. He’d been in the year above at school.
Blond hair, blue eyes, tall... Gorgeous!
Seconds after I accepted his request, he sent a message – a heart emoji.
Can I have your number?
My quiet night in was looking up! We were soon exchanging texts – and, a few nights later when Poppy was at her dad’s, Mitchell invited me over.
We spent the evening snuggling on his sofa, sharing a takeaway. And, later, he kissed me.
‘I have a daughter,’ I blurted out afterwards. But Mitchell wasn’t fazed. ‘I want to look after you,’ he whispered. ‘And your little one.’
My heart melted.
And so things sped along at hyperspeed. Mitchell doted on Poppy, taking her to the zoo, swimming.
‘I’d love us to have a baby of our own,’ he grinned one day in April 2015. And, months later, he got his wish.
‘I’m pregnant!’ I blurted.
Mitchell was thrilled, especially when we discovered it was another girl.
‘I can’t wait,’ Mitchell grinned. But then he began picking fault in everything I did.
‘Wipe the table before you
He said he wanted to look after me – and my little one
serve dinner,’ he groaned one evening.
When he saw I hadn’t folded his clothes, he knocked them over the room. He just likes things how
he likes them, I thought.
If I stood up for myself, Mitchell lost his temper.
‘You look like a tramp,’ he snapped at me one night. ‘Leave me alone,’ I replied.
Quick as a flash, he slapped my face.
I cried out, clutching my cheek in shock. Mitchell looked ashamed.
‘I’ll never do that again,’ he promised. Of course, he did. The slightest thing set him off. He’d shout, swear and use me as a punchbag.
Emma was born in April 2016, but Mitchell would disappear for days, spending all his wages partying with mates.
‘I’ve cheated on you, anyway,’ he sneered.
My mum Estelle, 40, begged me to leave him.
‘It’s only going to get worse,’ she warned – but she might as well have asked me to scale Mount Everest.
I had a toddler and a newborn, and I’d never felt more worthless. How could I possibly leave?
By February 2017, I fell pregnant again, and felt even more trapped. Jake was born that October, yet Mitchell didn’t change.
Early one morning last September, I woke up to him stomping around.
‘How am I going to get to work?’ Mitchell boomed.
‘I can’t take you, the car has broken down,’ I sighed.
He went ballistic,
dragging me out of bed and kicking me on the floor.
He raged that he was ‘sick of my attitude’, slapping and kicking me. Eventually, he stormed off. I had a black eye and bruises, but thankfully the kids slept through it. I called Mum, who called the police. Mitchell was arrested. Last November, Mitchell Audley-Ellis, 23, appeared at Huntington Magistrates Court, charged with assault by beating.
He got a 10-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. A restraining order was imposed, banning him from coming near me. Visits to the kids would be supervised. It was over.
I put my energy into being the best mum – but, this February, Mitchell messaged
I miss you, asked to visit. Eventually, I agreed. ‘What I did to you was disgusting,’ he admitted.
He said he loved me, had taken me for granted – everything I wanted to hear. So I gave him a last chance. Mum was horrified.
‘I want nothing to do with him,’ she snapped to me.
And it only took two weeks for bullying, violent Mitchell to reappear.
In May, I was about to end things for good, when I fell pregnant again.
It floored me. I loved being a mum, but couldn’t have another baby with a man I desperately needed to escape.
I couldn’t expose another child to violence.
A few days on, we were driving to Morrisons, when I found the courage to tell Mitchell that
I was pregnant.
Poppy, then 5, was at school, Emma, 3, was at nursery, and Jake, 18 months, was in the back of the car in his car seat.
‘I think its best if I have a termination,’ I said. Mitchell lost it.
I was driving at 70mph down a dual carriageway, but still he lunged at me.
‘Slag!’ he boomed, smacking my face, digging his nails into my arm.
‘Stop!’ I screamed, trying not to crash. Furious, he threw his phone at the windscreen, smashing the rear-view mirror.
‘Jake’s in the back!’
I wept as I screeched to a stop at Morrisons’ car park.
Mitchell kept raining down blows, pulled me from the car by my ear.
When security guards saw and called the police, Mitchell fled, but they tracked him down and he was arrested, charged.
I went ahead with the termination – the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
But when Poppy said to me one day, ‘It made me sad when Mitchell hurt you, Mummy,’ I knew that I’d done the right thing.
This July, at Cambridge Crown Court, Mitchell Audley-Ellis, 24, pleaded guilty to common assault, criminal damage, threatening behaviour and breaking his restraining order.
He was given a 16-month sentence, suspended for two years – another slap on the wrist.
Despite still being under the previous suspended sentence, the judge decided it would be unjust to activate his previous conviction.
He was also given a curfew and ordered to attend 40 hours of rehabilitation to ‘learn to respect women’.
If he can learn that in just a few days, I’ll be stunned.
Men like Mitchell never change – believe me, I know.
Raining down blows, he pulled me from the car by my ear
Shattered by his temper
Pregnant with Jake
Mitchell: from caring to violent
blue His attack left me black and My ear and neck… …shoulder and back… …and arm. All badly bruised If you or someone you know has been affected by domestic violence, call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on Freephone 0808 2000 247.