Ashley Geraghty hid a dark secret. His then-girlfriend of him, and mother-to-be of her, was completely unaware of the skeletons in his closet of her.
The pair had been together whilst in school, but broke off after he cheated on her. A short while later they got back in touch and dated on and off until she fell pregnant with their son de ella.
From there, the grim reality of Geraghty came to light.
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“I used to call me names and spit at me. He was just generally horrible,” she told the MEN She has chosen to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals.
“He used to lie about where he was, what he was doing and who he was with.
“He was taking drugs – I’d find empty bags on the kitchen tops. It was awful.”
She said he would go missing for weeks on end on drug-induced benders, then come back home and say he was ‘really sorry’.
The pair would argue and she would ask him to leave, but due to an electronic tag he refused to go. Geraghty had told her it was because he had been in trouble with the police following a fight with a male. Little did she know it was because he had previously battered an ex-partner.
The woman said he pressured her into offering her address for the tag, which meant he was danced to live at her house and stay indoors between certain times.
“I couldn’t back out. I felt like I was trapped, “she said.
In December 2017, things took a turn for the worse when he brutally attacked her whilst she was eight months pregnant. I have pushed her to the floor and kicked her to her stomach before dragging her through the house. Her only means of escape from her was to get into the garden where he was restricted from going because of the tag.
“I just went in the back garden, I had only my dressing gown on,” she said. “I knew he couldn’t come into the garden. I had nothing. He was shouting at me. I didn’t know what I was meant to do.
“I said I would come inside, only if he gave me back my phone. He knew I was going to call the police, so I said I was n’t going to, and said I’d call his mum instead. He literally had hold of his phone from her, he would n’t give it to me whilst I called her.
However, Geraghty would apologize, saying he needed help and tell the woman that she ‘was the issue’. He would tell her “please do not give up on me” and took advantage of the woman’s kind nature of her.
“I grew up not knowing my dad and he knew that and knew how much I wanted a family unit,” she said. “He would say ‘I don’t want our son to be taken away from you’.
A month later their son was born, and things appeared to calm down. But, a trip to visit her grandparents de ella in North Wales saw Geraghty drink de ella and ‘kick off’ with her, resulting in him hitting her in front of their son de ella.
She said her relationship with her family at this time was ‘damaged’ as they didn’t like him and she felt like she couldn’t go to them. It was only when they broke up that she realized how manipulative he was, she said.
Months later, in August 2018, she saw a message from her ex-partner asking Geraghty what time he was picking her up. She challenged him about it, at which point he began arguing with her, and to diffuse the situation and get away from him she went upstairs.
He followed her, pushed her down onto the bed and strangled her. She was left with painful red marks around her neck and couldn’t swallow properly for weeks. A judge told him that he made a ‘determined effort to strangle her’ and added that he could have killed her.
“I thought I was going to die. I remember going in and out of consciousness. I kept thinking how I was going to get him off me and I think I hit him and he moved,” she said.
“It was petrifying. I was going to give up on him. I said I don’t want to do this anymore and then the tears came and he said he was really sorry and I said he needed to speak to someone.”
They looked at hypnotherapy, but this didn’t work, she said. The woman would regularly drug test Geraghty when she saw their son, but he failed and so she ended the relationship.
“That was it. I couldn’t do this anymore,” she said. He then threw a garden chair and smashed her window. He was prosecuted for that and handed a restraining order banning him from contacting her.
However, he took to Facebook, posting pictures of her and her new partner and making threats towards him. It was then she went to the police, and told them of his violence towards her. “I knew he was never going to leave me alone. I was protecting myself and my son,” she said.
She then learned of his previous convictions against multiple partners.
Now, Geraghty has been jailed for over four years. Upon learning of his sentence from him, she said: “When I found out he was sent to jail I cried.
“Men like him they don’t ever stop, he was using my son as a tool to get to me, he had no other way of getting to me.
“He would say it was unfair and ‘why can’t I see my son’. I never ever doubted that he would come to get me. He could have killed my son, my son could have died.
Geraghty was also handed a restraining order, banning him from contacting the woman for 10 years. But, the woman said she would always be worried about him coming back and said she lives in a constant state of fear.
“He’s never going to go away. But I have come this far. I’ve done this all for my son and I just want him to be safe,” she wept. “I have my friends, my family and my new partner around me, they are all so supportive and have been amazing.
“If I could tell a woman in my situation anything, it’s that you have to do what’s right for you. You need to protect yourself, you need to speak out about it, you need to go and seek help. “The process is not easy, it is long and stressful. Do it for you and do it for other women. I did n’t really know anything about his previous partner of him, and that’s not right.
“I have finally felt like I got justice for me and my son. I have waited for this for so long. I was quiet for so long, I didn’t want to impact the court case, and now I feel like a weight is lifting and everyone knows what really happened.”
If you have been affected by this story here are various different numbers and emails for support:
Domestic Abuse Helplines
women can call The Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge on 0808 2000 247 for free at any time, day or night. The staff will offer confidential, non-judgmental information and support
Talk to a doctor, health visitor or midwife
Men can call Men’s Advice Line on 0808 8010 327 (Monday and Wednesday, 9am to 8pm, and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am to 5pm) for non-judgmental information and support
Men can also call ManKind on 0182 3334 244 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm)
If you identify as LGBT+ you can call gallop on 0800 999 5428 for emotional and practical support
Anyone can call karma nirvana on 0800 5999 247 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) for forced marriage and honor crimes. You can also call 020 7008 0151 to speak to the GOV.UK Forced Marriage Unit
In an emergency, call 999
You can also email for support. It is important that you specify when and if it is safe to respond and to which email address:
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