Woman abused by jailed Edward Booth speaks out to raise awareness of domestic violence
Alert message sent 21/10/2019 11:08:00
Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police
*We are sharing this story in a bid to encourage others who may be suffering to seek help from the police*
The former partner of a Swindon man who has been jailed for 11 years has spoken out about the systematic, violent, sexual and psychological abuse she suffered during their relationship.
Edward Booth, 27, of Corfe Road, Toothill, was sentenced last month after a jury found him guilty of two counts of sexual assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
As well as serving an 11-year prison sentence, Booth was given a restraining order preventing him from contacting his victim, and was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.
Now, his former partner is sharing her story in a bid to encourage others suffering in silence at the hands of a partner to seek help - before it’s too late.
“I knew Eddie as a friend before we started dating. He seemed nice to begin with and everything was normal. I have a young son so he was always involved, and we’d often go out together for food.
“I used to go out with friends about twice a month, but Eddie started to tell me I couldn’t go out. He’d say people only go out so they can meet someone. He didn’t like my friends because they didn’t have boyfriends. If someone added me on Facebook he’d message them and ask them why they were trying to speak to me, but I just assumed he had trust issues and was a jealous person. I always thought I could help him change.
“I honestly can’t even remember when the physical abuse began. It happened in so many places, in my home, on the street, in front of friends, everywhere. It’s all merged into one for me now. He did a lot of really, really bad things to me. He Tasered me a lot of times and I remember it because the smell of burning skin was just horrible. He’s punched me in the head multiple times and perforated my eardrum, he spat at me, dangled me over the balcony, sexually assaulted me. He’d constantly put me down and make me feel worthless and dirty but I never really fought back because I just wanted it to be over quickly and I would worry if I fought back that the abuse would just get worse.
“He fractured my arm during one incident but was really apologetic after and said he loved me, so when I went to hospital I just made up a story about how it had happened so he wouldn’t get into trouble.
“He once threw a deodorant can at my head with such force that it left a huge gash in my head - I went to bed and when I woke up the next day the blood had soaked through three pillows onto my mattress. I remember looking in the mirror that morning and being covered in blood – I should have gone to hospital but I didn’t.
“He managed to have such a hold over me, I was just so tired of everything. I was tired of being a mum, of being his girlfriend. I was too tired to cook, clean, get out of bed and take my boy to nursery. I felt like I had nobody to tell because I felt like Eddie had isolated me. The abuse was affecting me physically, emotionally and mentally. I didn’t want to worry anyone and I didn’t want my problems to become someone else’s. If I’m honest, I thought he would realise one day that this isn’t how we started our relationship and he would eventually change.”
Back in March this year, Booth launched a violent attack on his victim in her own home. He pushed her, punched her in the face several times and sexually assaulted her. As she fell to the floor, he dragged her from room to room by her hair, causing her a head injury. He then cut her arms and face with glass.
Despite the terrifying ordeal, she called out of her window to a passing member of the public, crying desperately for help, and they alerted police.
With the support of Detective Constable Jason Walsh, the victim stood up in court to tell a jury of the abuse she had suffered at the hands of Booth and he was eventually jailed on September 19.
“I will be honest and say I never really had much faith in the police until now,” she said.
“I was so nervous about having to go to court – just little things like arriving at court and having to see his family, but the police officer supported me through it all. I couldn’t have done it without Det Con Walsh. I always thought ‘what’s the point in going through all this, he will only get a short sentence and then he will be free to do it all again’, but I am so glad I did. I was really pleased with the sentence, although I did feel bad for his family, and his children especially. I knew the things he had done would get him a prison sentence, but I wasn’t looking for revenge, I just wanted to be left alone and get my life back. The only people I could talk to couldn’t help me, because I would end up panicking or retracting statements in fear that he would hurt me or someone close to me.
“I don’t feel anything towards him at all now. I now wake up every day happy and my son and I can now move on. Everything feels so different, we laugh so much more. I have a lot to let go of, but I also have a lot to look forward to.
“I really want other people to read my story and be encouraged to contact police. Please don’t feel alone. I think so many people, especially young girls like me just walk in to any kind of relationship without noticing the red flags and then this kind of abuse becomes normal to them. I now realise it isn’t normal and no one should put up with it.”
Det Con Jason Walsh added: “Booth is a prolific and dangerous offender who has failed to cooperate with police on numerous occasions and continuously denied any involvement. I am just so pleased that this young lady felt confident enough to go through with the trial – she was crucial to us getting this successful outcome. As soon as the verdict came in and the sentence was handed out, my first thought was for her and how she can now focus on herself and move on with her life. It is almost impossible to imagine someone going through this amount of abuse mentally, psychologically and physically. But then asking them to sit down with a police officer and tell me all about it is really difficult. It is such a sensitive matter and it is important that we take these things at the victim’s pace.”
For more information about domestic abuse, please visit https://www.wiltshire.police.uk/article/1132/Domestic-Abuse