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“By the time the violence and abuse had escalated I was alone. I felt I had no one to turn to even if I wanted to.”
Those are the words of a woman who was violently attacked by her ex-partner as he was jailed for five years and four months for the physical and mental abuse he inflicted.
On Saturday 9 April and Friday 13 May, Simon Toussaint entered his ex-girlfriend’s home in Queniborough, Leicestershire, and subjected her to two “vicious” assaults, which included grabbing her by the throat, punching and kicking her multiple times in the head, back and ribs and dragging her across the room by her hair.
Both ordeals left her with severe swelling and bruising, as well as a cut to her arm caused by glass being smashed during the second assault.
After carrying out the sustained attacks, the 31-year-old of no fixed abode, continued to torture this ex-girlfriend – attempting to call her more than 400 times in the week after the incident in May and leaving her multiple threatening voicemails and text messages.
After being arrested and charged by police, he continued in his attempt and while on remand in prison contacted the victim and tried to coerce her into not attending court.
At the time of the incidents Toussaint was also subject to both a non-molestation and restraining order, preventing him from contacting the victim or going to her home.
Although many of the physical injuries have now healed, Toussaint’s victim, who does not wish to be named, is still coming to terms with the mental and emotional trauma she endured.
She said: “The abuse started early in our relationship, first verbal – name calling and putting me down all of the time but this quickly turned into a slap or a punch here and there.
“As I got deeper into the relationship I started to withdraw from family and friends and by the time the violence and abuse has escalated I was alone. I felt I had no one to turn to even if I wanted to.
“He had more control over me than I had over myself. I felt it was easier to dance with the devil than face anyone else.
“Even after the first serious beating I continued to beg for his approval. Despite what he had done to me I would have done anything to have him stay with me. I had no confidence whatsoever – he had beaten everything out of me with the abuse he had subjected me to.
“After the events in May I knew it needed to stop. I received so much support from the officer dealing with my case and support agencies too. I didn’t want Simon to win, he has already taken so much from me.”
At a hearing at Leicester Crown Court on Thursday 18 August, Toussaint pleaded guilty to eight offences - two counts of actual bodily harm (ABH), as well as one count of coercive and controlling behaviour, witness intimidation, criminal damage, harassment with fear of violence, breach of a non-molestation order and breach of a restraining order.
On Friday (7 October) he was sentenced to five years and four months in prison. Following his release, he will also be subject to a five-year restraining order.
Investigating officer, PC Lorraine Hendrie, from the force’s Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit, said: “Toussaint subjected his ex-girlfriend to not only two vicious attacks but also mental and emotional torture. He bombarded her with threatening phone calls and messages and even after he had been charged the abuse continued.
“She has shown extreme strength and bravery throughout the investigation and I am just thankful he has now admitted carrying out these crimes and the victim has the justice she deserves so she can attempt to rebuild her life.
“Unfortunately, this case is not unique and we deal with many men and women who have similar stories to this. I hope by shining a light on this case it helps other victims to reach out and get the help and support they need to put a stop to the abuse.
“Officers in the dedicated domestic abuse team are here to listen and guide people through the process.
“Anyone can also get independent advice and support through FreeVA – a charity that works towards reducing domestic violence in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.”
Anyone wanting to report a crime can call 101, report online at www.leics.police.uk or in an emergency always call 999.
FreeVA’s helpline is 0808 802 0028 or visit www.freeva.org.uk