Terrified woman used abuse ‘code word’ in Boots to escape violent partner



A victim of domestic abuse who lived in fear of her life, managed to evade her vicious partner by using a ‘code word’ when visiting a pharmacy.

The terrified woman went into a Boots pharmacy and asked for “Ani” and members of staff realized she required help before taking her into the staff room.

Employers of the pharmacy phoned police and her former partner and abuser, Anthony Ballard, were arrested and interviewed.

After initially denying the claims against him Ballard has now pleaded guilty to controlling and coercive behavior and assault causing actual bodily harm.

At court this week he was jailed for two years when sentenced by Judge Stuart Driver, QC, who said his coercive behavior offense went on for months.

The woman’s victim statement revealed she has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and is now being treated with medication.

He told Ballard, of Marsh Lane, Bootle, he accepted his “mental health has been poor but appropriate punishment can only be achieved by immediate imprisonment”.

He also imposed a ten year restraining order to keep away from his victim, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that at the time of the offenses he was on license from a six year sentence for a conspiracy to commit burglaries imposed in 2017.

He has already been recalled on license and is not due for release until July next year. The new sentence is to run concurrently.

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Derek Jones, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that the victim met 30-year-old Ballard via a dating website at the end of 2020 and for the first few months their relationship was good.

As time passed she realized he was “very insecure and very jealous and wanted to know where she had been and thinking she had been sleeping with other men”.

Mr Jones said the first time Ballard was violent towards her was in March or April last year “when they were in bed and she compared him unfavourably to her previous partners. He got very angry and grabbed her by her hair.

“He pinned her to the bed with one hand on her shoulder and said, ‘I’ll blow your head off’.

“He left her with bruising to the arm and some of her hair was pulled out.

“Immediately afterwards he poured water over her and called her ‘a fat mess.’ He said he was with her because no one else would go with her and spat in her face.

Ballard would take her phone from her and go through it and her social media accounts.

The victim told police she had no photographs of her injuries as he would go through her phone and delete images.

Ballard made disparaging remarks about her body and would tell her what shops she could go to.

He would also make her take the dog with her as he thought it would mean she would not be able to go into the homes of other people.

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Mr Jones said Ballard was violent on a second occasion when he “poured water over her and the contents of a large ashtray on her head. She said she had never felt so humiliated in all her life”.

Mr Jones said that on another day he grabbed her by the hair and dragged her up four steps. He would dictate what she wore and then deleted messages from her friends on her phone and played on her insecurities.

In an impact statement the woman said that she has since needed medication to sleep.

She has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and says she hates herself for what had happened.

Mr Jones said: “She talks about brain fog most days and hearing his voice calling her a fat s***.

“It has left her feeling drained and her self-esteem is destroyed. She does not go out anymore unless she absolutely has to.

Mr Jones added the victim’s relationships with friends and family has suffered and she is afraid what will happen after he is released.

He said that the couple’s relationship had begun about six months after being released from his last jail sentence.

Ken Heckle, defending, said that Ballard had been “obsessive and over jealous” and he should have realized what was happening in their relationship.

“He was genuine about their relationship but clearly is immature about how to conduct relationships.”

Mr Heckle added that remorseful Ballard clearly needs assistance and help to deal with relationships in the future.

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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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