Leeds rugby legend Jamie Jones Buchanan 'determined' to speak out about domestic violence following cousin's death

  • Sam Casey Reports

Rugby league legend Jamie Jones Buchanan has said he is determined to use his public profile to speak out against domestic violence.

A year ago (15 September), Jamie's cousin Bethany Fields was stabbed to death by her ex-partner in a street in Huddersfield, just as Jamie was preparing to play for Leeds Rhinos for the very last time.

Despite the efforts of witnesses she died at the scene. 

Described by her family as 'beautiful, talented, ambitious , kind and loving', Bethany had ended their relationship after repeatedly trying to get him help for mental health problems.

Earlier this month (September 2020), Bethany's attacker, Paul Crowther received a life sentence for manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Jamie says he feels a "duty to do all he can to prevent others from suffering a similar tragedy".

Jamie Jones-Buchanan is now an Assistant Coach for Leeds Rhinos and former professional rugby league player. Credit: PA

It's really important, certainly from my point of view now, as a sportsman that I might have some kind of profile certainly within the city of Leeds, to ask that question, what can we all do to make sure another life's not lost, another family's not turned upside down.

Jamie Jones Buchanan

Now a coach with Leeds Rhinos, Jamie, who's been a long-time supporter of domestic violence charities, says he's "redoubled his own efforts" to campaign on the issue.

If any of these issues have affected you, here's how you can get help and advice:

  • Call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247.

  • Women's Aid has a range of direct services for survivors, including a live chat service and an online Survivors’ Forum.

  • The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them. Contact on: 0808 801 0327.

  • Galop runs the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse specialist helpline. Contact: 0800 999 5428. Email: help@galop.org.uk.

  • Chayn provides online help and resources in a number of languages about identifying manipulative situations and how friends can support those being abused.