The Sunday Post (Dundee)
‘Thought he was the man of my dreams but fiance beat me in front of the kids’
Mum lashes out after brute is sent to jail
IT is every woman’s worst nightmare.
When Donna Speirs met new partner Myles Leyden she instantly thought he was the one.
But the brave mum-of-four has been left picking up the pieces of her shattered life after jealous Leyden snapped following a day of drinking, subjecting her to a horrifying ordeal.
Incredibly, the 32-year-old’s 40- minute ordeal was captured on a cordless phone she managed to hide under a pillow, and relayed to a 999 call handler. It all started so differently. Donna was introduced to Leyden by a pal and they got along instantly.
“I honestly thought he was the one,” said Donna, who was engaged to him.
“We used to have such a great laugh and he was amazing with my kids.
“He took them to the park, played with them and did everything a dad should do with them. They bonded really well. “But he was just conning me.” Fast forward to earlier this summer and everything changed in an instant.
Leyden had been out drinking all day at a christening without Donna.
When he arrived home, he became absurdly convinced in his stupor that Donna was seeing another man.
Donna was subjected to a brutal attack which left her suffering two black eyes, multiple bruising and swelling.
She said: “He was steaming drunk and his head was filled with a lot of rubbish.
“Everything in his eyes and his posture
He was just conning me all along. I hope he has a terrible time in prison and I hope he rots in hell.
Thug Myles Leyden.
said to me that he wanted a fight. I’d never seen him like that before.”
Leyden kept demanding to see Donna’s phone – and eventually smashed it after snatching it from her.
She went to bed, and that’s when he launched his brutal attack.
“He waited until I was in bed with a baby right beside me,” she said.
To escape his blows she briefly thought about climbing out of the window of her home in Greenock, Inverclyde.
But Donna’s three sons – twins aged six and a boy of four – were screaming in terror in the next room, and she didn’t know what he was capable of. “I was so scared,” she added. “When he went to get a knife, I dialled 999 from the house-phone which is by my bed. “I hid the phone under the pillow.
“When he came back he threw the knife over the top of our cot. It missed the baby and missed me, thankfully.
“Then he went to get a second knife and the operator could hear me yelling, ‘Please, don’t get another knife’.
“I was worried he’d see the phone and hurt me even more.
“I could actually hear the operator talking to me when the receiver was under the pillow.
“So I managed to wriggle it further into the pillow in case he heard it.
“It was a woman call operator and I really think she saved my life. I’m so thankful to her.
“I knew Myles had been in trouble with the police before, but he promised me he’d changed and, stupidly, I believed him.”
The attack happened early on June 27. Leyden was jailed for 11 months when he appeared before Greenock Sheriff Court on July 27.
Sheriff Derek Hamilton lambasted the Crown Office for prosecuting the offence as a
minor summary case rather than an indictment case.
The blunder meant the maximum sentence that could be imposed was a year – and the sheriff was obliged to reduce even that sentence because shamed Leyden pled guilty.
The court heard that after police rang the doorbell at Donna’s home, jobless Leyden rushed into her bed and tried to act like he’d just woken up.
When an officer approached him, Leyden head-butted him – then fell backwards into the baby’s cot.
A green knife was found where he had been lying.
Donna said the attack has devastated her three boys.
She said: “They cry every night going to bed because now because they are scared of what he did. My children had to look at my face knowing the person they looked up to as a dad had done that.
“They had so much trust and love for Myles, but he undid that in a heartbeat and I hate him for that.
“For him to do what he did to me in front of the kids is the behaviour of a beast. There’s no other word for it.
“He planned what he was going to do that night and made sure he broke my mobile phone so I couldn’t contact my family. “He scared my boys so much. “The slightest sound at night wakes them up now.
“He always used to take the kids to school but now I realise that was because he didn’t want me to be out seeing anyone else.
“He had a jealous side and was manipulating me but it didn’t really dawn on me at the time.
“I got so much help from different women’s groups.
“I couldn’t imagine putting up with that every day.
“But there is a way out and you can get help to escape your situation – that’s what I’d say to other women.”