Abuse survivor speaks out over ‘disgusting’ jail sentence for controlling ex

A mum who was beaten as she suffered a decade of abuse has spoken of her horror at the ‘disgusting’ prison term for her former partner.

The brave domestic abuse survivor was attacked with a paint can, pushed down the stairs and punched in ‘relentless beatings’ by a boyfriend who controlled her entire life.

Simon Williams once even slammed her hand in a car door ‘because she refused to go for a drink’, leaving her finger broken as she fled to seek rescue in a stranger’s porch, Birmingham Live reports.

Worried witnesses who watched the attack followed up with phone calls to police to ask ‘is she okay, is she alive?’ amid fears that she would be dead at the hands of her aggressive partner.

The thug, 35, also made her sleep downstairs on the sofa in her own house for seven years, called her at least 30 times a day and would criticize the ‘ugly’ scars that he himself afflicted.

In another assault, she said he was ‘still throwing shoes’ at her as she lay unconscious on the floor. That was the final assault before she made her courageous escape, reporting everything to the police.

Williams, of Cecil Road, Erdington, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm, assault, using controlling and coercive behavior between February and August 2019, common assault and intimidation.

He was jailed for three years and two months at Birmingham Crown Court – a sentence branded ‘disgusting’ as the victim tries to hide her scars and battle the trauma.

Simon Williams was jailed for three years and two months
Simon Williams was jailed for three years and two months

The mum-of-one has now bravely lifted the lid on the abuse that left her suicidal, from her tearful pleas for him to stop hitting her and being ‘kept in the house for three years’.

Speaking on his prison term, she said: “I’m absolutely shocked and disgusted. I can’t believe it. He’s got three years, he’ll do half and he’ll probably get out on license anyway.

“With the nature of the offences, GBH, assault while on bail, coercive control – and he’s even managed to phone me while he’s been in prison, I just think the sentence is disgusting.

“I’m flabbergasted. Everyone was telling me to persevere as he’s got a lot of charges against him. I just feel like it was a waste of time now.”

The victim was attacked by her ex-partner
The victim was attacked by her ex-partner

Williams, who says she would ‘watch her from a gulley at the back of her house’ after their relationship ended, was also handed a ten year restraining order at the January 26 sentencing.

But despite the order, the survivor, who is in her late 30s, now fears he will ‘come back’ for her upon his release.

“It’s never stopped him before because he’s attacked me on bail anyway, he just doesn’t care about the law,” said the mum.

“I know he won’t leave me alone. He’s going to come back for me, no matter what. I’m going to have to move. The things he’s done are disgusting.”

Williams admitted GBH, assault and common assault at Birmingham Crown Court
Williams admitted GBH, assault and common assault at Birmingham Crown Court

She continued: “It was just relentless beatings. He’s smashed my face in with paint cans, I’ve got scars all over my face. He’s strangled me until I’m unconscious.

“The last time, when he threw me down the stairs, I whacked my head straight off the radiator and it knocked me clean out.

“My blinds were pushed across, the neighbors ran round to intervene because I was unconscious. They said he was pummeling me like a gorilla.”

The first attack by Williams saw him ‘smash her in the face’ with a full tin of paint, she said. It’s an attack she says is marked by the scar between her eyes de ella, a permanent reminder of the violence she suffered.

“He strangled me until I was unconscious then he smashed a full paint can in my face,” she recalled, adding that she was suffering kidney problems at the time.

“He would still attack me then, the paint can incident I was ill then with my kidneys, I just remember holding onto his leg saying: ‘Don’t hit me anymore’ and crying.

“And that was just for ripping a black bag open. Then of course I had scars all over my face.”

Because Williams had ‘locked her in the house’, the only escape was through a downstairs window, she said.

She recalled: “The neighbors must have heard me screaming, because when I jumped out the window I actually jumped into a police officer’s arms and there was just blood covering my whole face.

Pictured: Scarring in-between her eyes from an attack by her former partner
Pictured: Scarring in-between her eyes from an attack by her former partner

Highlighting the difficulties of escaping the abuse, she said: “Sometimes he’d go a year without him doing anything. This is why I always thought ‘oh he’s changed’ and then all of a sudden out of the blue, he’d do something again.

“It lures you into a false sense of security.

“You have a good year and you think everything is going ok, but all these beatings weren’t a punch or a slap – he would beat me to a pulp.”

In another attack in February 2019, Williams punched her body and face in a car because she ‘wouldn’t go for a drink with him’.

“He tried to shut me in the car and he beat me up because I was trying to undo the seatbelt to get out,” she recalled.

“I did open the door. He ran round and slammed the door while my hand was in there.”

She ran to the nearest house and found the homeowners were already waiting for her after witnessing the violent attack.

The mum's swollen hand after an assault
The mum’s swollen hand after an assault

“As soon as they opened the door I just slid straight across their wooden floor in the hallway because it was just awful,” she added.

“Apparently everything just tumbled out of my mouth from what had been happening for the last ten years.

“This woman and her husband had been calling up the police to say ‘is she ok, is she alive?’ They were worried I would be dead by now.”

Amid fears Williams would ‘hurt her son and dad’, she didn’t initially give a statement to West Midlands Police. The alleged threats to her family from her were, she says, “a way to control me.”

It was this controlling, coercive behavior that left her too afraid to leave her own home.

“You don’t realize what’s happening,” she said.

“He kept me in the house for three years. I couldn’t go out anywhere, that made me agoraphobic, I was too scared to go out.

“He’d want to know where I was, I’d get at least 30 calls a day from work, wanting to know where I am.

“If I went out of the house and didn’t answer the phone, I knew what was going to happen when I got home.”

The abuse, which has destroyed her self worth, also saw Williams call her ‘ugly’ and manipulate her into staying by threatening to take his own life.

“He would make me feel bad about myself,” she said.

“He knew the scars on my face bothered me quite a lot so he’d tell me I was ugly and stuff like that. It just lowers your confidence. I don’t walk around without a fringe now.

“I didn’t realize how much he was manipulating me. If I said I want you to leave, he’d say ‘well I’ll try and kill myself'”.

She would also have to sleep downstairs on the sofa in her own house – apart from the coercive behavior that lasted seven years.

“At first he says: ‘I’ve got work and you watch the TV’ so he told me I needed to start sleeping downstairs.

“But then he would watch the TV himself upstairs, it was all part of his control again.”

She would be allowed in the bedroom for sex, but soon be told to ‘get out of bed and go downstairs’ after the intimacy, she added.

The mum “finally gave in” after Williams grabbed her by the hair and pushed her down the stairs – leaving her unconscious as her head struck a radiator on August 25, 2019.

“He pushed me and smashed my head against the radiator, he was still throwing shoes at me when I was unconscious,” she recalled.

“He picked me up unconscious and was hitting me. I probably wouldn’t have written a statement until he started threatening my family and I just thought ‘I can’t do it any longer’, he’s going to end up killing me.

“I finally broke down over it.”

Simon Williams inflicted a number of injuries on his partner
Simon Williams inflicted a number of injuries on his partner

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic and Williams initially denying all charges, the mum waited three years for ‘justice’ as the court case was adjourned eight times before the sentencing on January 26.

“I’ve lived on my nerves for the last three years, I ended up having a breakdown over it,” she said, recalling the ‘hundreds’ of phone calls she has had from Williams, including a recent call from prison.

“He’s done nothing but harass me, climb over my garden, it’s been a nightmare,” she added.

“In all that time, all he’s done is harassing me.

“The police had my phone because he kept disregarding what the judge was saying. He was on judge’s bail and he still turned up.

“There’s a gulley at the back of my house and he would watch me through my fence, he would ring me up and tell me what I’d been wearing, he would know who was in my house. I didn’t know how he was finding out all this information.

“I had a friend living with me. If he didn’t come down that night I would have actually hung myself because I could not take it anymore.”

After the ten years of abuse and violence, the mum says all she was offered in terms of safe housing was a hostel which wouldn’t house her beloved dog of eleven years.

domestic abuse help

Domestic violence or abuse can happen to anyone – find out how and where to get help.

Advice from the NHS says that if you are at risk of domestic abuse or violence you can:

The Survivor’s Handbook from the charity Women’s Aid is free, and provides information for women on a wide range of issues, such as housing, money, helping your children, and your legal rights.

Men can also email [email protected], which can refer men to local places that can help, such as health services and voluntary organisations.

For forced marriage and “honour” crimes, contact Karma Nirvana (0800 5999 247) or The Forced Marriage Unit (020 7008 0151).

Galop provides support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic violence.

Anyone who needs confidential help with their own abusive behavior can contact Respect on their free helpline on 0808 802 4040.

Approached about the claims, Birmingham City Council said they were committed to working with West Midlands Police to ensure ‘tenants are kept safe’.

A statement from the authority read: “Birmingham City Council has a policy of zero tolerance towards domestic abuse.

“We take the safeguarding of our tenants extremely seriously and we are committed to continuing to work with our partners, including West Midlands Police to ensure they are kept safe.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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