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16 August 2013, 18:36 | Updated: 16 August 2013, 18:38
A man’s been jailed for more than eight years after attacking his former partner with a hammer and keeping her imprisoned at her home in Aylesbury.
38-year-old Darren James Stenhouse, who’s homeless, admitted charges of grievous bodily harm with intent and unlawful imprisonment.
He assaulted 30-year-old Claire Harrison at her home in Belgrave Road on Tuesday 5 March after she ended their four-year relationship.
After arranging to pick up some of his belongings, Stenhouse produced a metal handled dead blow hammer and used to it to hit her around the head several times.
He also hit her on her back when she fell to the floor – and then tie her up with bicycle cables and padlocks.
She managed to call for help – after telling him she needed to lie down in a bedroom because of her injuries.
She barricaded herself in the room and called 999.
Stenhouse tried to break back into the room – resulting in him suffering serious head injuries.
He then threw the hammer through a glass panel in the door and ran out of the house.
A police dog and handler later found him hiding among trees in Faraday Road.
As a result of the incident, Claire suffered several scars to her head and slight paralyses to her leg after being struck on the back with the hammer.
Stenhouse was sentenced to eight years and six months and a three and a half year extended licence period.
Claire’s released the following statement: “The attack that took place on March 5, 2013was the most frightening thing that has ever happened to me, I didn't know whether I was going to live or die, whether I would ever see my children or my family again.
“I am very lucky to be here right now and am so relieved that my four year ordeal with an abusive partner has finally come to an end.
“I knew that by finally finding the strength to leave him for good would have serious consequences for me but I did it and I'm still here to tell the tale.
“There is help out there for anyone going through domestic violence, there are people to turn to for help and protection and there is light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how bad things may seem.
“I want to thank the police and other organisations that have helped me, they have been fantastic and extremely supportive and always there when I needed something. So please don't let yourself or your children live in fear, you are worth so much more than that.
“There is life after domestic violence and it’s good. Feeling free is amazing!
“The road to recovery may be slow but I urge anyone out there suffering to get yourself and any children you may have to safety and speak up and put the perpetrator where they belong.
“Don't be scared to get help. No-one deserves to go through any type of abuse. It’s not right. It's your life not their's and life is for living and that is exactly what I will be doing from now on for the rest of mine.”
A dedicated website speakouttoday.co.uk (opens new window) and video provides practical information for victims and those supporting them, and includes vital links to national and local support services.
The website was launched by Thames Valley Police in May 2012 in partnership with Domestic Abuse Co-ordinators and Crimestoppers.