Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

He Got Away with It

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

He Got Away with It

Article excerpt

Byline: By Hannah Davies

Woman tells of despair as violent husband walks free after vicious attack

this sickening picture shows the horrifying injuries suffered by Debra Pemberton at the hands of her husband.

Her right eye is blackened and swollen, two of her fingers are bandaged and her upper body is covered in cuts and bruises.

But despite the ferocity of the attack, William Pemberton was freed by the courts.

In a move condemned by women's rights groups, the trial judge accepted the assault was "nothing short of shocking," but said prison would not help Pemberton, 42.

Today Mrs Pemberton told of her horror at the sentence of a two-year community rehabilitation order and an order to attend one-to-one sessions on domestic violence. She also told of her six years of suffering at the violent hands of her husband.

From her home in Seaton Delaval, near Whitley Bay, the 39-year-old said: "I can't belive he hasn't gone to jail. If anyone in the street suffered at his hands like I did he would have gone to prison. This man beat me up with our child in the house, he is a violent animal.

"The system has failed me and others who have been beaten up by their partners. I feel sick inside. I only put myself through this so other women would not be afraid to speak out and to bring their abusers to justice. Now I feel deflated."

Mrs Pemberton, who met her husband in 1990, added: "The first time he beat me up was in 1996, and I was rushed to the RVI in Newcastle.

"I forgave him, as you do the first time. The blood vessels on his hands and knuckles were all broken up from hitting me. Really I should have left him then, but I gave him a second chance.

"In the same year as my brother hung himself in Newcastle, the marriage completely broke down. My brother committed suicide in 1996 and I was devastated. William had started drinking very heavily and he used to say, `I wish you were in a box with your dead brother'.

"The last assault was on October 2 last year. He came into the house at 3.25pm after finishing work and said he was going out for a works do.

"I was always scared of him going out for drinks and coming back drunk and causing trouble.

"At 8.25pm he was knocking on the door really loudly so I opened it and he pushed his way in. I was petrified. I could see he was absolutely drunk. He said `I've had 18 double whiskeys'.

"He kicked me between my legs. He got down on his knees and he said `I want you to die. You are going in a box with your brother.'

"Then I was dragged by both sides of my hair and he started bashing my head against the door, smashing me around the room.

"I tried to call 999 but he smashed the phone across my head and said `It didn't break,' and smashed it again so it did.

"He had his hand over my mouth and I couldn't breathe. …

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