Lover attacked me with boiling water. Then my nightmare really began
Out with mates, I was trying to join in the fun, but my phone kept on pinging. ‘It’s Andrew,’ I sighed. ‘He’s asking what I’m up to.’ Again. ‘That’s so sweet of him!’ my friend replied. But was it? I used to think the same. But recently, my boyfriend Andrew’s constant checking up on me felt a bit over the top.
When we’d first met, I’d been having a rough time.
‘Come under my wing,’ he said. ‘I’ll look after you.’
I felt so lucky that this sexy, 6ft tall bloke with a bodybuilder’s physique wanted me. Wanted to look after me. Within a few weeks of meeting, I was spending most nights at Andrew’s house.
He made me feel special and was always buying me gifts.
But just three months into the relationship, I noticed Andrew started to change.
He drank heavily, and started questioning my movements. He didn’t like me going out. Now, in November 2013, I’d told him I was going out with the girls and he hadn’t left me alone. I’d had texts all night. Where was I? What was I doing? Who was I with? At midnight, he rang. ‘Get home now!’ he ordered. He sounded furious, and the last thing I wanted was a row.
‘I’d better call it a night,’ I told my mates, hanging up. I jumped in a taxi home. I didn’t have cash, so I asked the driver to wait while I borrowed money from Andrew.
But as I walked through the door, I was taken by surprise…
Andrew kicked my feet from under me, sending me crashing to the floor. He was drunk. I’d been drinking, too, but I soon sobered up.
‘What are you doing?’ I sobbed.
‘You know what you’ve done!’ he yelled. I didn’t understand. What was he talking about? ‘I need to pay the taxi,’ I pleaded. He ignored me and accused me of cheating on him.
‘Give me your phone,’ he said. ‘And your password.’
Refusing, I ran outside and begged the taxi driver for help. But he drove off and left me on the pavement, terrified and alone.
I found Andrew swigging from a bottle of vodka on the sofa.
Then he ordered me to sit down.
From the kitchen, I heard the kettle boiling.
‘Give me your phone now,’ he snarled angrily.
When I refused, he stumbled to the kitchen, and returned holding the kettle in his hand.
Before I knew it, Andrew stood over me, holding the kettle menacingly above my head.
‘Give me you pin number now,’ he threatened.
‘You wouldn’t…’ I cried, absolutely terrified. ‘Wanna bet?’ he replied. Boiling hot water poured out of the kettle, landing in my lap.
I screamed in agony as the water soaked through my jeans, scalding my privates.
‘You’re never going to have sex
Boiling water scalded my lap
again,’ he said, a wicked grin spreading across his face. His eyes narrowed again. ‘Now give me that pin,’ he growled, lifting the kettle.
Giving him my numbers, I begged him for a cold bath. My skin felt like it was on fire. ‘A bath?’ Andrew grinned. Then his fist snatched up my long, dark hair.
I screamed in terror as he dragged me upstairs, then turned on the taps.
‘Get in the f*cking bath!’ he roared at me. Whimpering, I climbed in, naked. I was too scared to look down at my scalded body.
A few minutes later, Andrew pulled me out.
Then he started hitting my body
hard – arms, legs,
face, anything he could reach. He dragged me by my hair to the bedroom. ‘Sit in the corner. Don’t move!’ he said.
He lay on the bed, on his stomach, facing the other way.
Within a couple of minutes, he was snoring.
Afraid he was tricking me, waiting for me to move so he could attack me again, I waited for what felt like an eternity before slowly getting to my feet.
I spotted a fiver sticking out of his back pocket, swiped it, then ran for the front door, my heart beating out of my chest.
I took a taxi to my flat, too frightened to go to hospital.
The following morning, at 11am, my mum Norma, 48, popped by.
When she saw me black and blue, she was horrified.
Worse still, when she noticed I struggled to walk, she forced me to tell her what happened, and rushed me to Rugby Hospital.
At the burns unit, I was thoroughly checked and had an X-ray. There were scars and blisters between my legs.
I had no choice but to tell the doctor what happened, and was promised confidentiality. I stayed at Mum’s for a few days. Then Andrew called. ‘It won’t happen again,’ he said, begging for forgiveness. I was torn. ‘Please don’t go back,’ Mum begged. ‘A mother isn’t supposed to bury her daughter.’
But I loved Andrew, so I decided to go back.
And for the first couple of weeks, Andrew was lovely.
Then, two weeks later, while I was out, he sent a video to my phone.
I stared in disbelief, watching footage of Andrew in the garden, a bonfire roaring. What’s that? As I looked closer, I noticed some of my things – my clothes and handbags – all going up in flames.
I couldn’t believe it and didn’t know what I’d done to deserve it.
When I got home, I asked him why he’d done it. He didn’t have an answer. Nothing was saved – every single item of clothing I owned had been destroyed in the fire. Still, I stayed. If I try hard, things can be good again, I thought.
On my birthday in June 2015, Andrew organised a surprise party in the pub.
I felt so lucky, but at the end of the night, when we got home, Andrew attacked me again.
Drunk, he lashed out and stamped on my head, knocking me out.
When I came round, he was still pounding his foot into my skull.
It only stopped when he passed out from all the alcohol.
The next morning, I called a friend who drove me to hospital, where I had X-rays. Andrew had broken my shoulder. Although I told medical staff what had happened, I still didn’t report him to the police.
Three days later, I was still in hospital when Andrew called.
‘I’m in the car park. Come outside, I’ve got a surprise,’ he said.
When I went out, he had two kittens in his hands. ‘These are for you,’ he said. ‘I’m sorry.’ He’d beaten me unconscious and he thought some fluffy kittens would make it OK?
It was almost laughable. And yet, I was so fragile that I took him back. He’d knocked the fight out of me. I’ll never have the strength to leave, I thought.
But when it became clear that nothing was going to change, I eventually realised… I wasn’t broken. I could leave. I had to. Not only that, I finally did what I should have done years before. I reported Andrew to the police. Taken to a safe house, I told them every last detail.
Andrew was arrested in March 2016, charged with grievous bodily harm with intent and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He was convicted of two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after pleading guilty to those.
Last August, Andrew Smith, 36, was jailed for 15 months, with a restraining order against him.
After leaving the safe house, I left the area and moved far away.
I don’t think Andrew’s sentence was enough. That man almost destroyed me. But not quite. I’m in a new relationship now, and though I’m damaged, I’m having counselling. And the best revenge? I’m getting stronger every day.
I was too afraid to report Andrew
I felt so lucky to have him
He promised to protect me Beaten for no reason
He beat me in a jealous rage
Andrew wouldnõt change