1. ITV Report

'Every time I got rid of one weapon, another one would come': Domestic abuse victim speaks out

Alex and Jordan as a couple and Alex's injury Credit: Photo from Alex Skeel

A woman who made her partner's life a misery with her violence which included scalding him with boiling water and stabbing him has been jailed for seven-and-a-half-years.

Jordan Worth banned Alex Skeel from their bed, kept food from him, decided what clothes he could wear, isolated him from friends and family and even took over his Facebook account.

One of Alex's injuries to his wrist caused by Jordan Worth Credit: Alex Skeel

Alex told ITV News Anglia, the abuse started off as psychological, but quickly became violent.

"She said that my grandad had died, I sat there for two hours crying, I hadn't seen my grandad for about a year and a half. Then after two hours she said it's not true, I don't know why you care, and started having a go at me. She lied. It started to get physical when we moved out, it started off with a glass bottle, then it was a hammer and every time I got rid of one weapon, another one would come, wardrobe poles, bits of wardrobe, then a football pole snapped in half, she stabbed me with both ends, it went to knives, then boiling water thrown over me."

– Alex Skeel

Luton Crown Court heard there were two sides to 22 year old Jordan Worth.

She came from a loving family and was a high performer at school, gaining a 2:1 Honours Degree in Fine Arts, she wanted to be a teacher. She had been involved in caring and voluntary work for unwanted animals and had raised money for children in Africa.

But at their home village of Stewartby in Bedfordshire, Worth controlled every aspect of her boyfriends life, who she met when they were both 16 years old.

They eventually moved in together, she began controlling what he would wear, then became violent; using blunt objects to strike him, wounded him with a knife.

Jordan Worth threw boiling water over Alex causing severe burns Credit: Police

"I would say I did it to myself, I would say it's nothing to worry about. They had a fairly good idea, as they kept ringing the police and as I understand now, they knew for quite some time."

– Alex Skeel talking about his neighbours knowing something was wrong

The charge of controlling or coercive behaviour covered a period from April of 2016 to June of last year when police were called to the couple's home in Stewartby.

Neighbours of the couple often heard them arguing and the sounds of things being thrown in the house. The victim was heard by his neighbours shouting at Worth: "Get off me, you are hurting me" and was seen on occasions with black eyes and to be limping and with his arm in sling.

"She boiled the kettle three times to ensure it was completely boiling water, backed me into a corner, took the lid off and threw it straight at me. I blocked my arms, it was completely burnt and it went all over my legs and I remember lying there and my skin felt like it was cooking. You can't describe how it feels really."

– Alex Skeel

In June last year neighbours called police to the couple's home after hearing shouting. Ambulance crews found injuries to his hand, burns to arms and legs which were being self-treated with cling film.

Five per cent of his total body surface was scalded, Worth had thrown boiling water over him.

Further examination found stab wounds about his body and limbs.

Alex told ITV News Anglia he didn't know what to do, as he had no phone, he couldn't contact anybody. Credit: Alex Skeel

Worth pleaded guilty to controlling and coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship, wounding with intent and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

She was also made the subject of a restraining order which prevents her from contacting her former partner for an indefinite period.

Detective Chief Inspector Jerry Waite spoke to ITV News Anglia Credit: ITV News Anglia

"This was one of the worst cases I think we've ever had to deal with. The abuse suffered by Alex was just absolutely awful. He suffered that in silence for an awful long time and suffered some horrendous injuries as a result of what she did to him."

– Detective Chief Inspector Jerry Waite Bedfordshire police
  • The Crown Prosecution Service describes coercive behaviour as:
  • An act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.
  • Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour

"This case highlights that we will listen, we will take any allegations seriously and any victim of domestic abuse, we will support them."

– Detective Chief Inspector Jerry Waite Bedfordshire police