Alex Skeel: Domestic abuse survivor was 'days from death'

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Image caption Jordan Worth (left) was jailed for seven-and-a-half years for coercive control and violence against her former boyfriend Alex Skeel

A male domestic abuse survivor said he was "10 days away from death" before he was helped by police and medics.

Alex Skeel, 22, from Stewartby, Bedfordshire has urged other victims in abusive relationships to speak out.

His former partner, Jordan Worth, 22, subjected him to multiple physical injuries, denied him food and isolated him from his family, a court was told.

Pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm and coercive controlling behaviour, she was jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

The prosecution is the UK's first conviction for coercive control involving a female offender, Bedfordshire Police said.

Luton Crown Court was told Worth and Mr Skeel met at college in 2012 when they were both 16.

From an early stage she had control over him, telling him what he should wear and attacking him physically.

During the last nine months of their relationship, Worth subjected her partner to multiple physical injuries, often requiring hospital treatment.

The abuse came to an end one evening last June when a neighbour called the police after hearing shouts from the couple's home.

Ambulance staff noted injuries to his hand and burns to his arms and legs which had been self-treated with cling film.

The court was told Worth had thrown boiling water over him and that he had second and third-degree burns.

Mr Skeel said he had not been allowed to get treatment for his wounds.

"The hospital told me I was 10 days away from death," Alex Skeel said.

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Image caption The couple met when they were 16-years-old

Worth broke all his mobile phones so he could not contact friends or family.

He said on one occasion she told him her mother had received a message to say his grandfather had died.

"Half-way through me crying she said 'Do you want to go downstairs and talk to my Mum about this?' So you think, it is real," Mr Skeel said.

But after watching him sob for two hours Worth then revealed the death had not happened before berating him for caring about his family.

On another occasion he woke up after Worth had beaten him on the head with a beer bottle before chasing him and hitting him on the hands and face with a hammer.

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Image caption Worth deliberately tried to keep Mr Skeel isolated from his friends and family

Det Ch Insp Jerry Waite said: "Coercive control is subtle. The victim may not immediately recognise the behaviour as abuse...and (it) can lead to violence."

Mr Skeel has since had several operations on his brain, head and hands.

"You're far more of a person if you speak out. You're only going to get better if you talk about it," he said.

Worth was also made the subject of a restraining order, which prevents her from contacting Mr Skeel for an indefinite period.