‘I hon­estly thought I was go­ing to die’

Gloucestershire Echo - - FRONT PAGE - By CONOR GOGARTY

Preg­nant mum punched in stom­ach by fa­ther of her un­born child

AMUM was punched in the stom­ach by her ex-boyfriend while preg­nant with his baby. Daniel Hol­l­i­day, 31, hit Na­talie Clark so hard on Oc­to­ber 31 last year she was winded and started bleed­ing heav­ily.

Na­talie, who was 10 weeks preg­nant, thought she had lost her daugh­ter - but Ivy Rose was un­harmed and is now a healthy five-month-old.

Hol­l­i­day stran­gled Na­talie, 23, less than a month later in an at­tack she thought would kill her.

He was found guilty last Tues­day at Chel­tenham Mag­is­trates’ Court of the two as­saults, as well as crim­i­nal dam­age and breach­ing a re­strain­ing or­der.

Na­talie is un­happy he re­ceived an 18-month com­mu­nity or­der rather than a jail term, af­ter she suf­fered “the worst ex­pe­ri­ence of my life” at his hands. The full-time mum, who has a five-year-old daugh­ter Amelia Rose from a pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ship, met Hol­l­i­day in Au­gust 2016.

She got to know him through mu­tual friends and they started a re­la­tion­ship af­ter a night out at Chel­tenham High Street bar Lounge 72. Hol­l­i­day, of Perry Hill in Tewkes­bury, was “very much a party lad”, for­mer Pittville School pupil Na­talie said.

“I had never been like that,” she added. “When I first got with him it was ex­cit­ing. Things moved for­ward very quickly. “In the first cou­ple of months I no­ticed he was an an­gry per­son, but I was so in love with him. I stuck by him.” Na­talie says sev­eral months into the re­la­tion­ship, the cou­ple had started ar­gu­ing ev­ery day, usu­ally af­ter heavy drink­ing by Hol­l­i­day.

“He threat­ened to smack my jaw and leave me,” she said. “He wanted to have a baby and said he would change if I got preg­nant.”

When Hol­l­i­day was away from home, he made Na­talie Facetime-call him for hours to prove she hadn’t left the house, she says.

Hol­l­i­day com­mit­ted crim­i­nal dam­age at her home at about 5pm on Oc­to­ber 31 last year, shortly af­ter Na­talie found out she was preg­nant with his baby.

“It was about his din­ner not be­ing right,” Na­talie said. “He told me I was be­ing moody when I passed the plate to him. He stood up and smashed the plate and the food on the floor. He threw his knife at me. Luck­ily there was no con­tact.”

The first as­sault came later that evening, when Hol­l­i­day was ac­cus­ing Na­talie of cheat­ing.

She said: “He punched me hard in the stom­ach and it re­ally hurt. It winded me and I was crouched over.”

Na­talie spent the night at Glouces­ter­shire Royal Hos­pi­tal, where doc­tors told her the baby would be fine.

”I didn’t see him for a few days af­ter that,” Na­talie said.

“I wanted to leave but I was ter­ri­fied. We got back to­gether. I knew deep down it would start again. I didn’t know what to do.”

The sec­ond as­sault hap­pened in her home on Novem­ber 22.

Na­talie was car­ry­ing her phone, which had a call on­go­ing to her friend, un­be­knownst to Hol­l­i­day.

An ar­gu­ment broke out be­tween the pair and Hol­l­i­day snatched the phone off her.

“I asked for it back and he wouldn’t give it to me,” she said.

“He pinned me up against the wall by my arm. He was throw­ing punches but he didn’t hit me.

“I ran away into my bed­room and he fol­lowed me. He pinned me down on the bed and stran­gled me.

“I hon­estly thought I was go­ing to die.”

I knew deep down it would start again. I didn’t know what to do. Na­talie Clark

She was still too scared to call po­lice ini­tially, but found the courage to do so on De­cem­ber 1, as Hol­l­i­day con­tin­ued to send abu­sive texts.

Na­talie was un­happy with the speed at which po­lice in­ves­ti­gated the case.

Hol­l­i­day was not ar­rested un­til Jan­uary 12 - the day he breached a re­strain­ing or­der Na­talie had ob­tained through the fam­ily court in De­cem­ber.

She was with a friend in the Nail An­gels salon in Chel­tenham.

“Daniel turned up and stood out­side the glass door and abused me,” she said. “He was swear­ing and putting his fin­ger up at me.”

She re­ported it to po­lice, who ar­rested Hol­l­i­day soon af­ter­wards.

Hol­l­i­day must do 200 hours of un­paid work, pay £460 to the court and ad­here to a five-year or­der re­strain­ing him from see­ing the fam­ily.

Na­talie is scared about what will hap­pen if po­lice re­move the panic alarm from her house and Hol­l­i­day re­turns.

A Glouces­ter­shire po­lice spokesman said: “We can’t dis­cuss in­di­vid­ual cases but we are al­ways will­ing to dis­cuss safe­guard­ing op­tions which are avail­able to vic­tims.

“Mea­sures used are de­pen­dent on the in­di­vid­ual cir­cum­stances and panic alarms are not au­to­mat­i­cally re­moved on con­vic­tion.

“The safety of vic­tims is para­mount to the force and there are a range of safe­guard­ing mea­sures which are reg­u­larly put in place to help re­duce any risk posed to them.”

Na­talie Clark with daugh­ter Amelia Rose. Left, Daniel Hol­l­i­day

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