A woman from Calne who was left unrecognisable after being battered by her violent husband has spoken out about her ordeal in a bid to raise awareness of Clare’s Law.
Patsy Jacobs, 36, of Zander Road, Calne had to have major surgery after the booze fuelled attack which left her with a broken eye socket, a broken nose and a titanium plate in her face.
The victim’s partner, Nathaniel Dimond, aged 31, of Zander Road, was jailed at the end of March for five-and-a-half years, after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent and common assault.
Patsy now wants to raise awareness to let people know about the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) or ‘Clare’s Law’ as it is more commonly known. She said: “I want to speak out basically because I found out he had a history of domestic violence abuse in the past. There were seven previous incidents, which I would have known if I’d heard of Clare’s Law.
“It was only after the attack I found about Clare’s Law, a police officer said ‘do you know about his history?’, I said no and she told me about Clare’s Law.”
Patsy has two daughters aged 10 and 15 and both of them were in the house at the time of the attack.
“We’d been together on and off for about a year,” she added. “He’d held me down once before but most of it was him trying to blackmail me. I’d said to him I don’t want to be with you and he said he would kill himself.
“On the night of the attack he was stressed out so I sent him out to get some cigarettes and hoped that he would calm him down when he came back. He got back and had my phone and said there were messages from other guys on it and he shoved the phone in his pocket.
“I couldn’t believe it when he punched me but he kept punching me like he was in a boxing match. My teenage daughter came into the room and said ‘what have you done to my mum’s face?’ and he stopped then, started crying and said he was really sorry. If Caity didn’t come in I think he would have carried on.
“I didn’t have any recollection of time, I probably lost consciousness but I remember the paramedics came but I couldn’t place the voices. I was embarrassed, I felt like I was causing them to be here and felt like I was being a pain.”
Since the attack, Patsy has found things very difficult.
She said: “Since the attack I haven’t been able to do my job working as a waitress and barmaid at The Black Horse in Cherhill. I couldn’t go back for four weeks because I suffered from double vision. People knew that something happened but I wasn’t able to tell them what it was.
“I’m currently off sick because I kept having panic attacks. I used to be able to do my make-up in five minutes but now I feel like I have to cover it up again because I had surgery and had to have titanium put in.
“My left eye-socket was broken and he tore the muscle away which means the feeling’s gone and that’s not going to come back; my nose was broken as well.”
Clare’s Law went live nationwide in 2014 enabling the police to disclose information to the public about previous violent offending by a new or existing partner where it may help protect them from further violence.
Patsy said: “It was a week or two later that I find out about his previous domestic abuse and about Clare’s Law. I was angry. Why has he never been held responsible? Why have the charges always been dropped? I want to let people know.
“I’ve had plenty of support, lots of his ex-partners got in touch and the whole Calne area grouped together to get vouchers and a small collection. People have seen me walking around with my face the way it is looking and are expecting me to stay in and hide but I’m not doing that.”
Since the beginning of the DVDS scheme, Wiltshire Police has seen an increase in both the number of applications and the number of disclosures year on year.
In 2014, 131 applications were received, with 44 disclosures (34% of applications had information disclosed). This is an increase of 3% on applications and an increase of 27% on disclosures from 2013.
In 2015, 174 applications were received, with 95 disclosures (55% of applications had information disclosed). This is an increase of 32% on applications and an increase of 54% on disclosures since 2014.
Patsy added: “During the trial he was trying to make out that he had bipolar and when they brought up the other incidents from the past he said he didn’t remember them. He got sent out of court by the judge because he was still trying to intimidate me and when he came back in he just kept staring at me.
“When he was sentenced it was really emotional but it also seemed weird as everything had happened in about six weeks.
“I think it’s really important to make people aware of Clare’s Law as even if it can make a difference to one person that’s what matters. It could have been worse for me. I might not be here today and I really believe that.”
So far this year (up to 28 April) Wiltshire Police have already received 78 applications. 34 of these applications have had information disclosed. 19 of these are still in the investigation stage.
Head of Public Protection, Detective Superintendent Craig Holden , said: “Wiltshire Police is committed to supporting victims and targeting the perpetrators of domestic abuse, which can take many different forms. This can include physical, sexual, financial, emotional and psychological abuse. It is therefore important that victims know what is and isn’t acceptable and that they have somewhere to turn to when they think their partner may be acting in a way that causes concern. Clare’s Law is ultimately about protecting those most susceptible to domestic abuse – whether it is happening now or in the future. We continue to work hard to encourage people to use the scheme, and this is evidenced in our most recent figures.
“As well as the domestic violence disclosure scheme, we have specialist teams to work with victims of domestic abuse who understand the complex nature of this type of behaviour and can work closely with partner agencies to ensure the appropriate advice is provided. For more information on the DVDS scheme, contact Wiltshire Police Domestic Abuse Investigation Teams on 101. There is also the facility to leave information anonymously.”
Pictured below, Nathaniel Dimond who was jailed for five years for inflicting horrific injuries on Patsy Jacobs. DO NOT scroll down if you prefer not to see what he did to her