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‘I wanted to die’: Mum’s months of torment at hands of vile, violent thug

A Bolton man has been jailed for subjecting his former partner to repeated violent and threatening behaviour – leading her to fear she will ‘never be the same again’.

Matthew Bailey, 27, of Green Lane, Horwich, began dating the woman, who has not been named, back in February 2020 before moving in with her in November the same year.

But throughout the course of their relationship, Bailey was subjecting his partner to threatening abuse, name calling and physical attacks.

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His partner, who has a child from a former relationship, gave birth to twins in January 2021 but even during her pregnancy, the abuse was said to have continued.

At a sentencing in front of Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh this week, Bolton Crown Court heard how Bailey had subjected his partner to coercive, offensive and controlling behaviour between July 1, 2020 and July 15, 2021.

The court heard how Bailey, who pleaded guilty to the charges at a earlier pre-trial hearing, regularly called the woman ‘ugly’, a ‘mess’, and an ‘unfit mother’.

On one occasion, Bailey pushed his partner while pregnant and broke her phone after grabbing it from her.



Bolton Crown Court

The court heard how Bailey’s behaviour became increasingly worse by April 2021.

Simon Barrett, prosecuting, said: “On one occasion he said the world would be a better place if she was dead.”

In an attempt to reconcile their relationship, the couple visited Birmingham on a weekend trip in July 2021.

But the trip resulted in Bailey becoming argumentative when drunk and punching her in the cheek bone – causing her a split lip.

Three days later, on July 13, his partner went out with Bailey’s sister on a night out in Bolton town centre.

When leaving a bar, she saw Bailey waiting outside in her car – despite not having a licence to drive the vehicle – who then demanded she drove them all home.

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The court heard, being ‘terrified at what he would do’, she followed his instructions.

During the journey, Bailey became argumentative and proceeded to grab the steering wheel – causing the vehicle to veer off the road and hit a lamppost.

Mr Barrett told the court: “The defendant ran from the scene laughing while the complainant was hysterically screaming and crying.”

As a result of the crash, she sustained bruising and a large bang to the head.

Bailey was later arrested and then released on conditional bail. He was also given a restraining order and told not to contact or speak to his partner.

However, a month later, on August 13, the pair had been out drinking together and began arguing at her home.



Matthew Bailey, 27, has been jailed for 18 months

He then proceeded to attack her while in bed, where he slapped her in the face causing bruising and a split lip.

In court, the victim read out a statement in which she said she had been left scarred by Bailey’s behaviour.

“The week of the crash I wanted to die,” she told the court.

“I didn’t care if I just died that day. I still feel like that sometimes when everything comes back.”

The mother-of-three, who said she was now on anti-depressants, said she feared she would ‘never recover’ from the abuse.

She explained: “I won’t ever trust again. Ever.

“The person who was supposed to keep me safe did anything but make me feel safe.

“He was the person who hurt me the most and he didn’t even care.”

“I was left with not only the physical injuries but also the psychological effects which were far worse,” she added.

“I will carry these for the rest of my life.

“I hate myself for ever allowing this kind of abuse to happen.

“I hate how I will always blame myself and how much I’m just not the happy, outgoing and bubbly me anymore and I’ll never be that person ever again.”

Defence barrister Betsy Hindle told the court how Bailey, who has 15 convictions and 33 offences to his name, had many convictions relating to a violent nature.

She said: “It’s evident Mr Bailey has anger issues that he needs to address but it’s also evident that there’s underlying issues as well.”

She said Bailey, who was already in custody for breaking bail conditions, was in a ‘different mind space now’ and was willing to accept his problems, which included alcohol and drug use.

“He is remorseful,” Ms Hindle added.

“He’s particularly remorseful for the fact that she is the mother of his two children.

“He wishes to have a relationship with them as they grow up and wants to be a role model to them, although he agrees he needs to change in order for that to happen.

Samaritans (116 123) samaritans.org operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org , write to Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, STIRLING, FK8 2SA and visit www.samaritans.org/branches to find your nearest branch.

Mind 0300 123 3393 Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems. Visit www.mind.org.uk

CALM (0800 58 58 58) thecalmzone.net has a helpline is for men who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support. They’re open 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year.

SANE (0300 304 7000) Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers, daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm. Visit www.sane.org.uk/support

For information on your local NHS urgent mental health helpline, visit here

“His history is not an attractive one and that’s something he wants to change.”

Judge Walsh sentenced Bailey to 18 months in prison for controlling and coercive behaviour and common assault while on bail.

He was also handed a four-year restraining order against the victim.

Sentencing Bailey, Judge Walsh said: “You were involved in a relationship with the complainant and it deteriorated to an extent where there was increasing controlling and coercive behaviour by you towards her.”

He added: “You have a history of violent behaviour and have had problems with regards to conduct towards former partners.

“Your former partner makes it clear she has suffered significantly from a psychological perspective from the constant undermining and abusive nature of your behaviour towards her.”

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