A battered and bruised Sheffield woman who endured over a decade of horrific abuse at the hands of her ex has spoken out to encourage other victims to come forward.
Noel Alfonso Forrester, aged 49, has been jailed for 10 years after being convicted of a string of violent attacks on his former girlfriend, now 41.
Police said the woman is lucky to be alive after a catalogue of assaults in which Forrester:
Bit off half her lip;
Broke her jaw - and, after it was wired shut, broke it again;
Stabbed her in the arm as she tried to protect her face, severing ligaments and putting her in plaster for six months;
Struck her in the eye with a mobile phone, splitting her eyelid.
Forrester was found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and inflicting GBH.
The victim told The Star Forrester, of Lopham Street, Pitsmoor, started beating her up three months into their 12-year relationship – but it was only after he broke her jaw twice she found strength to have him prosecuted.
The victim, who cannot be named, is still in constant pain, needs a walking stick, and bears physical scars.
She has been diagnosed with long term pain condition fibromyalgia, and suffers anxiety and panic attacks and needs medication for depression.
“I want people to know what he has done to me,” the softly spoken mum-of-three told The Star.
“We met on a night out and, three months in, he began beating me up. He was possessive and jealous. He would hide in the bushes outside my house.
“A lot of the attacks happened in front of my kids – but I was too scared to leave.”
The first happened in 2000, in a petty row over a game of cards. In the second, Forrester spun around unprovoked and bit off her lip, leaving it dangling.
DC Paul Ganecki from South Yorkshire Police, who investigated the case, said: “It was literally hanging by a thread.”
In 2004 Forrester stabbed her in the arm in a row about the father of her children. Her liagments were left hanging from her flesh. In 2007 he punched her in the face, fracturing her jaw. Four weeks later he did the same again – fracturing both sides of her jaw.
The final attack happened when Forrester struck the woman with a mobile phone. The aerial split her eyelid open.
The police got involved only after she told a worker at her pain clinic how she really came by all her injuries.
Urging other women to seek help, the victim said: “Get away – don’t put up with it like I did. The police will get you the help you need.”
DC Ganecki added: “This was a classic case of domestic abuse, with the attacks escalating as time went on. She is lucky she wasn’t killed.
“She isn’t particularly confident, and it was a massive thing for her to come forward. If she found the strength to report these terrible crimes, anyone can.”n Call police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.
Call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 200 0247, or Victim Support on 0845 303 0900.