Domestic abuse victim, 37, ‘felt the skin peel away from her face’ by ex who slashed her with a mug, broke her back and ripped her stiches out
- WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
- Leanne Gaskell felt skin peel away from her face when ex-boyfriend attacked her
- Her ex Paul Cave, 46, threatened to ‘have her shot’ if she co-operated with police
- Cave, of Liverpool, admitted wounding over attack and was jailed for four years
- Miss Gaskell was once left with a broken back after he kicked her in the spine
- He called her a ‘sl*t’, took away her phone and refused to let her go to hospital
A brave domestic abuse survivor has shared harrowing photographs of the injuries inflicted by her former partner who slashed her cheek open with a mug.
Leanne Gaskell, 37, felt the skin peel away from her face when her ex-boyfriend Paul Cave, 46, from Liverpool, attacked her and left her covered in blood.
She rang 999 herself and was taken to hospital, where Cave turned up to say how ‘sorry’ he was, before threatening to ‘have her shot’ if she co-operated with police.
Cave, of no fixed address, admitted wounding over the attack in October last year – and was jailed for four years on July 30, with an extended two years on licence.
Cave has 22 previous convictions for 50 offences, dating back to 1989, including violence and dishonesty. He would also choke Miss Gaskell until she passed out.
She said on occasions she was left with a broken back after he kicked her in the spine, called her a ‘sl*t’, took away her phone and refused to let her go to hospital.
Now, Miss Gaskell has spoken out for the first time about the ordeal she suffered to raise awareness of domestic abuse and to help other victims to feel less alone.
Leanne Gaskell, 37, shared this photograph of her injuries after her cheek was slashed open
She said she thought she was going to die on multiple occasions during her two-year relationship with Cave, who subjected her to both physical and mental abuse.
The violence first started around a month into their relationship, when Miss Gaskell recalls Cave slapping her during an argument.
She told the Liverpool Echo: ‘He was so controlling and I was scared right from the start, and once you’re in something like that you can’t get out.
‘It just started with slaps and punches and then he’d start choking me until I passed out – that’s what he used to do all the time.’
She said Cave would regularly confiscate her phone and social media accounts so she couldn’t speak to people, adding: ‘The bruises are constant, they’re normal.
‘It became normal to have bruises on my body from him, it was like everyday. I thought he was going to kill me so many times.’
Miss Gaskell was left with permanent scars and felt her skin peel away from her face
Miss Gaskell said that on one occasion, she was left with a broken back after being repeatedly kicked in the spine by Cave, who would not let her go to hospital.
She said: ‘When he did my back I couldn’t walk at all and he wouldn’t let me go to hospital. My dad said he was coming round to see us and I had bruises on my face.
‘So, Paul brought the make up to me so I could put make up on, to hide it from my dad. I couldn’t stand up, I couldn’t move, I was sat on the couch in absolute agony.
‘Three days he left my like that until I finally got my phone and phoned an ambulance. He just wouldn’t let me out or go to the hospital.’
The violence escalated even further on October 25 last year, when Cave headbutted and punched a wall in a drunken rage at Miss Gaskell’s home.
When she tried to calm him down, Cave called her a ‘sl*t’ and broke a mug across her face, inflicting a 2in (5cm) long, 1in (2.5cm) deep wound, leaving a permanent scar.
Miss Gaskell said she is keen to ‘get her life back together’ after her horrifying ordeal
He then fled from the house, leaving Miss Gaskell to call an ambulance herself and she was taken to hospital for treatment.
When arrested and interviewed later that day, Cave accepted he had been drinking at his victim’s home the night before.
However, he claimed he had left after an argument with his partner and denied causing any injury to her.
Things finally came to a head a few days later, when Miss Gaskell told Cave she didn’t want to be in a relationship with him anymore.
She said: ‘When I came out of hospital with my stitching, I went back to him and we went to stay with his friends – and that was the worst attack I’ve ever ever had.
‘I said ‘I don’t want to be with you anymore’, and I’d sort of told him that we were splitting up anyway and then that’s why he battered me.
Paul Cave, of no fixed address, admitted wounding over the attack in October last year – and was jailed for four years on July 30, with an extended two years on licence.
‘I’d only just had my stiches done and he ripped all my stitches out. I genuinely thought he was going to kill me.’
A friend dialled 999 and Cave was arrested for a second time, before Miss Gaskell found the courage to give a statement to police.
Miss Gaskell added: ‘People say ‘why didn’t you just leave’ and it sounds so simple because why would somebody rationally put up with somebody treating them like that? But it’s just so hard.
‘You’re trapped, you’re in it and you can’t get out, it’s like you’re brain washed.’
Miss Gaskell said she is keen to ‘get her life back together’ after what happened, and is getting support from her local crisis and mental health services.
She has also been accepted to go back to college to complete an access course in nursing in the coming months.
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